Maori man kicked out of pub for having his traditional facial tattoos
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Featured Image Credit: Channel 9
A man from New Zealand is raging after he was refused service from an Australian pub due to his face tattoo.
But Michael Barclay's face ink isn't your ordinary tattoo.
It's a Tā moko, which is a 'unique expression of cultural heritage and identity through tattoo'.
According to newzealand.com, Michael's ink is called a mataora. Maori men will receive this as a symbol of nobility.
They believe the head 'is the most sacred part of the body' and therefore facial tattoos have a 'special significance'.
However, this information was lost on one staff member at the Hotel Windsor in Perth.
He's told A Current Affair: "We asked if we could look at the menus... and thought we would order. It was at that stage that the bar person then turned around and said, 'Sorry, I can't serve you', and I said, 'Why is that?', and she said, 'Because you have facial tattoos'."
Michael tried to explain the cultural significance of his facial tattoo and the deep historical meanings behind it.
However, the person behind the bar, who turned out to be the venue manager, wouldn't budge.
"She said, 'Yes, we know about you Kiwis, but you still can't stay, you'll have to leave'," Michael recalled.
"So we left, there was nothing we saw stating we couldn't enter the pub because of facial tattoos, and it wasn't until later that we had a look on the website and were aghast to find... that you couldn't enter with facial tattoos, however, dogs were allowed on the premises."
He was stunned that the venue would have such a stringent policy on tattoos especially considering his ink was cultural.
Michael says he's considering taking the incident to the Human Rights Commission as he believes he should have been treated better.
"There's a lot of Maori out there who are taking on board their right to wear Mataora and Moko kauae, and they should be allowed to conduct themselves in the way they see fit as long as they're not hurting anyone and (behaving) in a socially acceptable way," he told the Channel 9 programme.
"I'm a law abiding ex-veteran with no criminal history at all ... and you shouldn't judge a book by its cover."
He added: "I served in the military... for the right to be able to walk down the street, to walk into a hotel or restaurant and not be hassled for who you are."
UNILAD has contacted the venue for comment.