This was my great-grandfather’s head. The intricate spiral patterns are moko, chiselled by skilled artists into living flesh and coloured with soot. Your museums prized them as curios. So men with moko were captured, decapitated, and sold to the whites. The supply of tattooed heads began to dwindle. For a while the market shortfall was eased by killing and posthumously tattooing slaves.
Nowadays, the heads are coming home as toi moko, tattoo art. But it’s really their mana we repatriate. There’s no precise translation of mana in your language. You might call it status, but it also means spiritual force.
Fancy sharpening your skill with writing exercises? The Scrivener’s Forge offers a new exercise every month to hone one aspect of your craft. Take a look at this month’s exercise on plot and endings.