Sunday, July 13, 2008

Moko and beard

This 1880 photograph is of a Māori gentleman with a fine beard. Aside from the feathers, this beard is not unlike beards common throughout the more so-called civilized world, proving that beards are in fact universal. (He could stand to have a run through with a comb, however.) It is unfortunate that the beard may not be his own masculine choice. Some Christian missionaries disapproved of Tā moko (facial tattoos) arguing that they were a heathen practice, so some Maori men let their facial hair grow to cover their tattoos.