Ta Moko is an outstanding work of Maori scholarship.
The art of Maori tattoo has always been regarded with fascination, and this was one of the first comprehensive books on the subject.
The author, formerly ethnologist with the Auckland Museum, provides an examination of Maori moko in all its aspects - its historical develpment, tribal variations, design principles and social significance.
In this illustrated study of male and female moko, the author draws on the records, journals and sketches of early European observers in New Zealand - explorers such as Cook, de Surville and du Fresne and later traders and missionaries. He relies, too, on visual sources, including the work of artists such as Earle, Angas, Robley, Lindauer and Goldie, to document the increasing standardisation, and eventual decline and disappearance of male moko in the nineteenth century.