It looks like that some people editorialised what actually happened in this photo, and came to outlandish conclusions.

So i trace the photo back; this is what i found. 🧵
That was horatio g. robley, and behind him were curios called „mokomokai“, preserved heads made by the native maori people.
Interestingly, he did not acquire his collection from the maoris themselves, but in england.

The heads found themselves there from the trade between the maori and the british. Robley did not seem to approve of it.
The aforementioned trade was the maoris exchanging heads (i.e. mokomokai) for weapons from the british.

According to what i read, in order to produce more mokomokai, the maoris sometimes even resorted to using slaves for materials.
The trade largely ended when the british colonial government banned further trades, and demands for weapon faltered.

Here‘s also a prime example of editorialisation. 🤷‍♂️
A bit about the slave and „counterfeit“ products, cause some seem to misunderstand who fulfilled whose demand.

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