He tanga ngutu, he Tuhoetanga te mana motuhake o te ta moko wahine: The identity politics of moko kauae
Higgins, Rawinia (2004) He tanga ngutu, he Tuhoetanga te mana motuhake o te ta moko wahine: The identity politics of moko kauae. PhD thesis, University of Otago.
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Tä moko (Mäori tattooing), especially facial moko (tattoo), has become a popular mechanism for the expression of self-determination. Many Mäori people are adopting this art form as part of a renaissance of Mäori culture in Aotearoa/New Zealand. This declaration of Mäori self-determination is also an assertion of the pride felt by the tangata whenua (people of the land) for their culture, their language and, more importantly, their identity. This thesis will illustrate how moko kauae (female chin tattooing) is a means of expressing Mäori identity with specific reference to Tühoe identity. Using an Indigenous theoretical framework this Mäori Studies thesis examines the historical and contemporary political dimensions of moko kauae, the interface with the Mäori worldview (inclusive of its cultural concepts), and its relationship to identity politics. This will be complimented by the personal stories of Tühoe women who have undertaken moko kauae as well as commentaries from other Tühoe people who express what their Tühoetanga means to them and their lives.
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