Pākehā with facial moko divides Māori community

by Te Aniwa Hurihanganui / 24 May, 2018

Help us find and write the stories Kiwis need to read

Life coach Sally Anderson Photo: Facebook / Sally Anderson

A Māori woman who has had a facial moko for 10 years is backing a life coach who also has one despite being Pākehā.

Sally Anderson sparked outrage on social media for flaunting her moko kauae or Māori chin tattoo on her company's website, and she has since removed the images on some of her branding.

But the debate about whether or not Pākehā should be able to wear traditional moko has divided people in the Māori community.

Sally Anderson was a victim of gang rape in the 1980s and according to the Stuff website, she said the moko kauae was a symbol of triumph and new beginnings.

But Lynette Olsen who also wore a moko kauae, said the taonga should only be carried by Māori women.

"In the years that I've had my moko, I've travelled the world. We can go anywhere in the world and we're the only people that wear it, us wahine Māori.

"To have it used the way she's chosen to use it really doesn't sit well with me. In that moko kauae is our genealogy, I don't know how wahine Pākehā can do that."

Tania Cotter from Wairoa believes Māori taonga need to be shared with Pākehā. Photo / Justine Murray

Tania Cotter from Wairoa has had her moko kauae for 10 years - it represents mana wahine and her feminine essence.

She said she doesn't have a problem with Pākehā women wearing them too because she believes Māori taonga need to be shared.

"We share our culture ... we want the reo to be compulsory in schools, so we're asking for Pākehā people to learn our reo, so why aren't we allowing them to take on our taonga tuku iho of tā moko?"

She said her ancestors even gave European settlers tā moko in the past.

"My ancestors and our tipuna set the precedent way back in the 1800s when they gifted many Pākeha men moko kanohi."

A leading moko artist, Mark Kopua, said Māori taonga was often exploited and this was no exception.

But he said given certain circumstances he would not deny a Pākehā woman from receiving a moko kauae.

"There have been instances in the 1900s where various kuia Pākehā that have lived a predominantly Māori life have been given moko by that Māori community because of their contribution to that community.

"If I was to come across an individual who had those similar circumstances backing her then I would have no hesitation to follow the advice and the direction of the hapū."

Associate Professor Mera Lee-Penehira from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi said she had nothing against Sally Anderson.

She just wanted Māori women to retain an important cultural practice for themselves.

"It is about wahine Māori maintaining the integrity of moko kauae for wahine Māori.

"It's not really about Sally, it's not really about Sally's artist, it is about maintaining that we know that this is importantly whakapapa related."

RNZ has contacted Sally Anderson for comment but have not yet received a response.

This article was originally published by RNZ.


Best smartphones on the NZ market: What to look for and what to avoid
94991 2018-08-16 00:00:00Z Tech

Best smartphones on the NZ market: What to look fo…

by Peter Griffin

The smartphone market is complex, rapidly evolving and heavy on marketing hype. Here's NOTED Tech's five-point guide to help you before you buy.

Read more
Simon Bridges' expenses leak inquiry to be decided by Speaker
95000 2018-08-15 10:18:16Z Politics

Simon Bridges' expenses leak inquiry to be decided…

by Craig McCulloch

Parliament's referee Trevor Mallard is to decide today whether to launch a full-scale investigation into who leaked Simon Bridges' travel expenses.

Read more
Quinovic ad 'disgusts' landlords
94989 2018-08-15 08:02:40Z Property

Quinovic ad 'disgusts' landlords

by Katie Doyle

Landlords and real estate groups have joined tenants in condemning a Quinovic advertising campaign that appeared to celebrate making renters lives a m

Read more
Business might not trust the Govt, but should the Govt trust business?
94928 2018-08-15 00:00:00Z Politics

Business might not trust the Govt, but should the …

by Jane Clifton

The Ardern Administration and the business community are at loggerheads on the issue of trust – and there's fault to be found on both sides.

Read more
How a museum robbery lead to a bizarre story about feather fetishists
94411 2018-08-15 00:00:00Z Books

How a museum robbery lead to a bizarre story about…

by Linda Herrick

When Kirk Wallace Johnson heard about the theft of 299 rare birds skins, he had no idea what he was getting himself into.

Read more
New Zealand's soil has a lack of selenium, but we make up for it in the sea
94776 2018-08-15 00:00:00Z Nutrition

New Zealand's soil has a lack of selenium, but we …

by Jennifer Bowden

Many Kiwis are deficient in selenium, which plays an important role in inflammation, immunity and the production of thyroid hormones.

Read more
Some of our best subversive Kiwi playground rhymes
91871 2018-08-15 00:00:00Z Humour

Some of our best subversive Kiwi playground rhymes…

by Paul Little

“Roll, roll, roll your dope, Scrunch it at the end. Puff, puff, That’s enough. Now pass it to your friend.”

Read more
Bridges: National caucus didn't leak travel expenses
94949 2018-08-14 11:07:18Z Politics

Bridges: National caucus didn't leak travel expens…

by Jo Moir

Opposition leader Simon Bridges is standing by his MPs, saying he doesn't believe one of them leaked his travel expenses to media.

Read more