Definition of Maori head in English:

Maori head


  • A preserved Maori head with traditional facial tattoos, kept as a trophy of war or for ritual reasons.

    ‘we explain how a museum in France came to possess a Maori head’
    Also called mokomokai
    • ‘The skull recalls the artist's previous use of a Maori head as an evocation of the past but on these there is an imprint of the present.’
    • ‘Glasgow city council agreed to return three Maori heads and a leg bone (said to be from a chief killed in 1790) from the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.’
    • ‘A photo of a plaster cast copy was removed out of respect for the sacredness of the Maori head.’
    • ‘They have refused New Zealand's request for the museum to send back the four Maori heads in its collection.’
    • ‘The American Museum of Natural History in New York has more than 30 Maori heads.’
    • ‘The Maori head, or toi moko, was brought to Britain in the 1840s and kept at Warrington Museum in Cheshire.’
    • ‘As for Moby Dick, I was suprised as to just how funny the first chapters are (and relevant to New Zealand - we meet a fellow trading shrunken Maori heads within a few pages of the start).’
    • ‘Last month the Field Museum of natural history in Chicago returned a Maori head and other bones to New Zealand.’
    • ‘Earlier this year a Maori head was sent back to New Zealand so it could be returned to a tribe.’
    • ‘He recently instigated the repatriation of a tattooed Maori head and skeletal remains to New Zealand.’