Old Vintage Odd Weird Scary Strange Tattooed Tribal Mokomok Maori Heads Photo
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Old Vintage Odd Weird Scary Strange Tattooed Tribal Mokomok Maori Heads Photo:
New 8"x10" photo reprint of a circa early 1900's photo featuring Horatio Gordon Robley and his collection of preserved tattooed heads (Mokomok) of Maori heads. Old Vintage Odd Weird Scary Strange Tattooed Tribal Mokomok Maori Heads Photo Old Vintage Odd Weird Scary Strange Tattooed Tribal Mokomok Maori Heads Photo Description
Old Vintage Odd Weird Scary Strange Tattooed Tribal Mokomok Maori Heads PhotoItem Details:
- You will receive an 8"x10" black and white photo reprint
- This photo will be shipped first class USPS, and a tracking number provided
- This is a circa early 1900's photo featuring Horatio Gordon Robley and some of his collection of preserved tattooed heads called Mokomok of the Maori people
- Horatio Gordon Robley (28 June 1840 – 29 October 1930) was a soldier, artist and macabre collector of Mokomokai and antiquities
- In 1887 he retired from the Army with the rank of Major-General and returned to live in London
- Continuing with writing after his retirement, he returned to his interest in tattoos and wrote two books relating to his time in New Zealand, Moko or Maori Tattooing in 1896 and Pounamu: Notes on New Zealand Greenstone
- Mokomokai are the preserved heads of Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, where the faces have been decorated by tā moko tattooing
- They became valuable trade items during the Musket Wars of the early 19th century
- When someone with moko died, often the head would be preserved
- The brain and eyes were removed, with all orifices sealed with flax fibre and gum
- The head was then boiled or steamed in an oven before being smoked over an open fire and dried in the sun for several days
- It was then treated with shark oil
- Such preserved heads, mokomokai, would be kept by their families in ornately carved boxes and brought out only for sacred ceremonies
- The heads of enemy chiefs killed in battle were also preserved; these mokomokai, being considered trophies of war, would be displayed on the marae and mocked
- They were important in diplomatic negotiations between warring tribes, with the return and exchange of mokomokai being an essential precondition for peace
- In the early 19th century, with the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, tribes in contact with European sailors, traders and settlers had access to firearms, giving them a military advantage over their neighbors
- This gave rise to the Musket Wars, when other tribes became desperate to acquire firearms too, if only to defend themselves
- It was during this period of social destabilisation that mokomokai became commercial trade items that could be sold as curios, artworks and as museum specimens which fetched high prices in Europe and America, and which could be bartered for firearms and ammunition
- The demand for firearms was such that tribes carried out raids on their neighbours to acquire more heads to trade for them
- They also tattooed slaves and prisoners (though with meaningless motifs rather than genuine moko) in order to provide heads to order
- The peak years of the trade in mokomokai were from 1820 to 1831
- In 1831 the Governor of New South Wales issued a proclamation banning further trade in heads out of New Zealand, and during the 1830s the demand for firearms diminished because of market saturation
- By 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, and New Zealand became a British colony, the export trade in mokomokai had virtually ended, along with a decline in the use of moko in Māori society, although occasional small-scale trade continued for several years
- In the first book, as well as demonstrating and explaining the art of Māori tattooing, he also wrote chapters on the dried tattooed heads or Mokomokai
- Robley decided to acquire as many examples of Mokomokai as possible, and at length built up a unique collection of 35 heads
- In 1908 he offered them to the New Zealand Government for £1,000; his offer, however, was refused
- Later, with the exception of the five best examples which Robley retained, the collection was purchased by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, for the equivalent of £1,250
- Robley also collected Māori antiquities
- Some of his collection was purchased by the collector William Ockelford Oldman whose collection was purchased by the New Zealand Government in 1948
Quality of Photo:
- Not printed on some cheap ink jet printer that will have horrible image quality like some other sellers
- All black and white photos will be printed with ink on paper that can last up to 200 years
- All color photos will be printed with ink on paper that will last up to over 100 years
- I will combine shipping if you purchase more than one photo. Buy them and I will send you a revised invoice
- I will mail within 24 hours of payment
- Your photos will be be packed with the utmost care to ensure they arrive to you in the best condition possible
I am not in this for a "fast buck." I genuinely love history and I love the photographs I sell, every single one of them.
I realized a long time ago, I'm not just selling "photos."
I'm selling joy, happiness, sadness, misery, nostalgia, admiration, appreciation, interest, love, hate, and every other human emotion that are depicted in these photos or the emotions they invoke in you and/or the people who look at them.
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