Ancient Toi Moko (Maori heads) returned to NZ from America…

Cultural History:

Example of ta moko, or tattooing, on a Maori chief from the 18th century. Illustration by Sydney Parkinson (1745-1771) in a journal of a voyage to the South Seas, 1784.

Preserved Maori tattooed heads and other skeletal remains will be formally welcomed home to New Zealand after more than a century in the United States.

It’s the largest repatriation of ancestral remains in New Zealand history, with 35 Maori tattooed heads or Toi moko, two tattooed thigh skins, 24 Moriori skeletal remains and 46 Maori skeletal remains arriving in Wellington.

The remains will be welcomed by Maori tribal leaders, the NZ government, and two representatives from the American Museum of Natural History, which has been housing the remains.

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