Story: Tā moko – Māori tattooing



Te Arawa tohunga (priest) Tumakoha Te Whanapipipi lived at Lake Okataina until his death around 1895. He was said to possess spiritual powers over both natural and unnatural forces. Like other powerful tohunga, he had no tattoo since he was highly tapu and could not be touched by others for fear of psychic consequences. 


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New Zealand Electronic Text Collection
Reference: James Cowan, The Māori: yesterday and to-day. Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs, 1930, p.51

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How to cite this page:

Rawinia Higgins, 'Tā moko – Māori tattooing - Moko and status', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 April 2024)

Story by Rawinia Higgins, published 5 Sep 2013