Overseas institutions have undertaken some scientific research to find out more about the provenance and history of Toi moko in their collections, which is provided to Te Papa when they are repatriated. The nature of this research is Forensic Anthropology, which enables researchers to propose the likely gender of a Toi moko through analysis of facial features and dimensions. However, this information is not confirmed because no DNA testing has taken place.
Te Papa’s current policy is not to support DNA testing. However a close eye is being kept on technological developments, particularly as methods become less invasive.