This well-known 1915 painting by Gottfried Lindauer shows a young chief on the King Country frontier receiving a chisel moko. The tohunga tā moko (tattooing expert) holds his uhi (chisel) in his left hand, with its blade dipped in blue pigment. Round his little finger is wrapped soft flax pith for wiping away blood. In his other hand he holds his māhoe (mallet). To the left sits an elderly chief, who may be chanting a karakia (prayer) to encourage the moko recipient to be strong and endure the pain.
Using this item
Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki
Oil on board by Gottfried Lindauer
Permission of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki must be obtained before any re-use of this image.