This photograph depicts an unidentified Maori woman of unknown tribal affiliation. It was taken by the New Zealand photographer Arthur James Iles in Rotorua in the early 20th century. It is one of a series of twenty studio portraits of Maori taken by Iles in Museum Victoria's collections. A professional photographer active during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Iles photographed a range of subjects including people, landscapes, historical and tourist sites as well as indigenous flora and fauna. Iles's specialisation was portraiture, particularly of the Maori population. Maori life had been a common subject among photographers since the mid 19th century. Popular with the non-indigenous population, several categories of Maori pictures dominated the market. These included nostalgic depictions of 'beauties' and 'noble warriors' and the re-enactment of pre-contact life. The emergence of postcards around the beginning of the 20th century resulted in a resurgence in the production of photographs of Maori. A business man, Iles recognised this renewed interest in Maori culture. He drew on established subjects, photographing senior men and young women. Iles's efforts to attract Maori to his studios were aided by two factors. Firstly his association with Captain Gilbert Mair, a highly regarded captain of Maori troops loyal to the colonial government, facilitated visits by Maori community. Secondly, his marriage to Rebecca Elsie Utuatonga, a Maori woman, is likely to have assisted him to encourage young women to be photographed. In this photograph the woman's face is adorned with a moko ngutu [female lip tattoo] and moko kauae [female chin tattoo]. The moko appear to have been enhanced by the photographer for aesthetic emphasis, a common practice in studio portraiture of this type. Moko often referenced whakapapa [genealogical lines] and acknowledged the status and rank of a person. They were also a form of personal adornment. The woman is wearing a kahu kiwi [kiwi feather cloak]. Kahu huruhuru [feather cloaks] became popular in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Of these, the kahu kiwi were the most highly regarded. Feathers decorate the woman's hair. The white feathers are possibly kotuku (white heron or Ardea alba modesta). The black and white feather is the distinctive tail feather of the now extinct huia (Heteralocha acutirostris). Traditionally such head ornamentation was reserved for people of high rank. In order to meet the expectations of the non-indigenous market, however, photographers endeavoured to accentuate the cultural differences of their subjects. Thus, sitters were often dressed in all of their cultural ornamentation.