This is a photograph showing a traditional Maori penis tattoo. The shaft of the penis is blackened. On the head of the penis and scrotum there are circular designs. In traditional Maori carving the penis is shown as erect. The figure would be an ancestral male. In recent times the practice of including the penis in carving has been resumed : the depiction of an erect penis particularly shocked English missionaries as a result the older carvings had their penises knocked off. A penis tattoo was always the last tattoo and generally depicted rank and was confined to chiefs but not necessarily so. There was an elaborate ceremonial process with tattooing and the tattooist was a male of high rank as well with priestly duties. A penis was tattooed erect and had to be to for the blackening. This involved fine pricking and the use of charcoal. The lines on the head and scrotum were from a slight cutting. The penis was tattooed for effect in battle.The design was for an erect large penis. There is evidence that penis size was one of a factors taken into account when a chief was chosen by the old men. A large erection was proof that the tribe were favoured by the Gods and would win over their adversaries. Maori warriors fought naked and erect. Maori men were commonly naked in day to day life but part of the penis tattoo was hidden by the foreskin. This was tied. There were however ceremonial haka and many practices in which the full tattoo was visible to all. One should bear in mind that life expectancy was not high and those in war parties were young men inducted from 18 years.The chief and leader of a war party would be not much older. Generally he was the only warrior with a penis tattoo. The exception was on the East Coast of the North Island where they were not restricted to those holding chiefly rank. Howard.