Pride in culture and country

“In western cultures, a body tattoo is an object of adornment; in Samoa it is a sacred covenant between the bearer and the earth and community that support him or her.”

Four individuals respected that covenant when they marked their bodies with the traditional Samoan tatau and Malu. Their tattoos depict their culture, values and it tells the world who they are.

Gekoand Marina Keil, ParatisoFoaiaulimaTuitamaAi’vavao, and GaberielPaese-Sia of the OZKI Band underwent the agonising pain of the traditional Samoan tattoo by tufuga,Su’aSuluapeLafaele, SuluapeFa’amanatu, and SuluapeFa’alili.

“Once the tapping begins, you must be mentally and physically prepare to endure hours of pain as the sharp teeth of the various instruments are etched onto your skin, muscle, sinew and bone to leave this indelible testimony to your covenant,” said Gaberiel.

Gaberielsaid the feeling is hard to forget.


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