Friday, May 5, 2017
Playboy model infuriates Maori people with 'culturally insensitive' nude photo on top of sacred mountain
A Playboy model has angered a local Maori tribe with a naked picture at the top of a sacred mountain.
Jaylene Cook was slammed for being 'culturally insensitive' after she shared the "inappropriate" snap from New Zealand's Mount Taranaki on Instagram.
The model, who has nearly 300,000 followers, took the picture after climbing to the top of the volcano a few days ago with her partner Josh Shaw.
For the local Maori the volcano is considered the burial ground of the tribe's ancestor and is itself seen as an ancestor.
Traditionally, even just climbing to the top of the peak is inappropriate and only very rarely done for ceremonial purpose
Ms Cook defended her actions, saying she did research before and thought taking the picture was not offensive.
But Maori spokesman Dennis Ngawhare told the BBC: "It's a clash between Western assumptions and indigenous values and beliefs.
"It's like someone went into St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and took a nude photo.
"It's a sacred place and something like this is just very inappropriate."
This is not the first time a nude picture on a mountain has drawn condemnation from local communities.
In June 2015 a group of tourists were blamed for causing an earthquake that killed more than 16 people after they posed on a sacred mountain in Borneo in their pants.
The 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook Borneo just a week after the Western tourists took pictures on Mount Kinabalu.
The deputy chief minister of Sabah state, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin, joined with indigenous people in Sabah to blame the tourists for angering the 'spirit of the mountain'.
The tourist group of 10 included two Canadians, two Dutch and a German national.
After posing for the pictures on the hallowed ground, they posted the images on social media.
Sabah's chief tribal priest called a Bobolian, Tindarama Aman Sirom Simbuna, says that the 10 tourists in question should be fined 10 buffalo to appease the gods.