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Photo: Maori woman

Mark of a Woman

The permanent blue stain on a Maori woman’s tattooed mouth symbolized female beauty among her people in New Zealand. The personal facial tattoo, or moko, communicated her lineage, social position, and marriage eligibility.

Photograph from Iles Photo/submitted by Chas J. Glidden, circa 1919
From 100 Best Vintage Photographs, 2004

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