Written by Hans Neleman
In MOKO - MAORI TATTOOS, the intricate patterns of the moko jump out from simple white backgrounds. Neleman chose this setting to eliminate any element that might distract the viewer from his subjects. As a result, the viewer is drawn to a stronger and more deeply resonant presence. In some ways, the strength and sincerity of these subjects is more apparent in their eyes and facial expressions than any of their other physical manifestations. In one picture a fierce-looking Rastafarian, resplendent in his leather, tenderly holds a child in his arms. Documenting this apparent contradiction was especially important to Neleman who wanted to explore all sides to the Maori. Another photo displays a beautiful woman who has her back turned and looks over her shoulder at the camera, in a pose similar to models in fashion magazines. The only difference is that she displays the lip and chin tattoos unique to Maori women instead of lipstick and eye-shadow.
MOKO - MAORI TATTOOS brings the Maori into the spotlight for the very first time, and gives them a voice. This book is many things - a collection of beautiful and touching images, a contribution to a great cause, and a piece of history.
Hardcover: 144 pages.
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