30    Jul 20100 comments

Indigenous Art and Genealogy – The Maori

Have you ever wondered how indigenous cultures managed to keep track of their ancestry in the past?

I mean, computers and the Internet are incredibly modern inventions and, despite its invention around 105 AD, paper only really became wide-spread thanks to new technologies developed in the 1400s.

For one indigenous culture, the Maori people of New Zealand, geneaology and family tradition are an incredibly important part of society. So important, in fact, that they are recorded on their bodies through the art of Ta Moko or tattoos traditionally carved into the skin using special albatross bone chisels.

Below are some historical images of Moko:

It is said that receiving Moko “constituted an important milestone between childhood and adulthood” and that apart from outlining genealogy Moko also signified one's social status.

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