In this 2011 photo, founder of the Fest, Tisa Tisa Fa’amuli (center) is on the Tisa’s Tattoo Fest stage with world-class ocean swimmer Bruckner Chase and personality Waika Savusa. Both men took away prizes at last year’s fest. [Photo: JD Hall]

Are you ready? Tisa Fa’amuli founder of Tisa’s Tattoo Festtm is ready. She is gearing up for another exciting celebration of the Samoan Tatau Art, scheduled October 26-28 at the world famous Tisa’s Barefoot Bar.

The three-day event highlights Samoan Tatau Art of Tufugas and Machine Tattooists, and getting inked by the best of the best local and international tattoo artists.

Everyone with ink will have a chance to win cash awards for the best of fest tattoos, awarded on Saturday and Sunday.

Soga’imiti and Malu Clubs will have their day during the Fest showing off their skills in traditional Samoan hospitality — the Ava Ceremony. Live entertainment and island cooking is in store for everyone at the beach party celebration of the Tatau.

After eight years of building Tisa’s Tattoo Festtm as a local community event, the yearly ink-in has become internationally known as a must see event. Since its inception in 1993, hundreds of thousands all over the world participate, thanks to the connection with Blue Sky Communications’ webcam, streaming live from the tattoo fest and the Samoa News website.

This has put American Samoa on tourism’s radar, with the Fest a proud product of American Samoa.

Tisa told Samoa News, “With this kind of growth, we are thrilled to expand the Tattoo Fest stage with a meeting of Cultural Arts and Artists at the 8th Annual Tisa’s Tattoo Fest. The fest is bringing together the best carvers, ukulele and guitarists unplugged, weavers, Samoan language artists, orators, tapa artists, dancers, Tufugas and Machine Tattooist, from Samoa, Tonga and other Pacific Islands.

“Most exciting of all, young fashion designers will showcase their latest brand name fashions like Poly Swag and Tattoo Shoes during the Inked Fashion Show.

“I want to see and feel the heart beat of our island talent, venture up on stage at the Tattoo Fest event next month. It’s our natural beauty, our love for the arts, alofa for our community and happy people that define our island as Motu o Fiafiaga. Most importantly, the spirit of Tisa’s Tattoo Fest is about the people of American Samoa and our Tatau Art celebration,” she said.

Tisa said she is inviting the community to build on the success of Tisa’s Tattoo Fest by joining in and participating to preserve the cultural arts and conserve the natural resources for our future generations.  “The world-wide recognition will also help boost our economy by showcasing American Samoa as an eco-tourism, cultural experience for visitors — it is a win, win situation for all of us.”

Tisa is an advocate of preservation of cultural arts and conservation of our natural resources.  Tisa’s mission is based on living a sustainable life, to sustain our planet and ourselves, and to empower our island community to become better stewards of our island environment. “It’s about leaving a smaller footprint on the planet as we pass the torch to the next generation,” she said.

“Many skilled leaders in cultural arts have passed away with knowledge and history necessary to maintain our links to future generations. Pass on your cultural wisdom and family history to your children and future generations today, to insure our identity as a people, so one day they won’t have to ask — Who am I?”

An example of how Tisa envisions the benefits of the Fest spreading throughout the community is through the documentary that will be videoed during the 3-day event.  “This is a good opportunity for ASCC students and professors who have groomed their students in the cultural, visual and performing Arts. We offer the Tisa’s Tattoo Fest venue to showcase the talent of college students at the fest.”

Tisa invites volunteers who want to perform and be in the filming of the Tisa’s Tattoo Fest Documentary to email her: tisa@tisasbarefootbar.com or you can phone her at 622-7447 for more information.

This year, come to Tisa’s Tattoo Fest, get inked, live, love, and dance!  “May I add, Get a Samoan Tattoo,” Tisa said.


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