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American Samoa’s virtual borders are opening up for Tisa’s Tattoo Fest

Tisa (right) and Candyman
Source: Alega Preservation Institute

Alega Village, AMERICAN SAMOA — This weekend, October 24th and 25th, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, American Samoa will be opening its borders  — VIRTUALLY — for Tisa’s 15th Annual Tattoo Festival 2020 at the famous Tisa’s Barefoot Bar in the heart of Polynesia, in Alega village.

The two-day event will highlight original versions of the Tatau history through performing arts and conversations streamed live, with local and overseas tattoo artists tattooing live from Samoa, the United States, New Zealand and Australia – all from the comfort and safety of your computer, tablet or smartphone, broadcast live on Facebook (@TisasTattooFestival).

Our beloved tattoo artists will join Joseph Ioane from Off Da Rock Tattoo, along with guest speakers, Tufuga carvers, Siapo makers, Fire Knife Dancers, Samoan Siva Groups, and Samoan Singers, live from the Tattoo Festival stage, and virtually from Samoa, the United States, New Zealand and Australia – reuniting friends, family and tourists from abroad.

Tapa’au Dr. Dan Aga will present on the meaning of Tatau patterns and your obligation to the sacred Tatau Art of Samoa, on Saturday at 12 noon. Author Ta’alolo (Chande) Drabble will also discuss the many secret hidden messages in the lyrics of many old historical Samoan songs.


Book a watch party with your friends and experience live on Facebook the 2020 Tattoo Festival and cast your vote (using your “like” button) to determine the winners of the many Tattoo Festival contests this year – all while watching and enjoying hours of video of Tattoo Festivals from the last 15 years – and honor your cultural warriors with your vote!


For those lucky enough to be in American Samoa, the event location is restricted due to COVID-19 policies and reservations are required to attend (and limited).

Our Samoan Culinary Umu Toana’i, Sunday at 2:00 PM, is a must- attend dining experience and a great way to enjoy the last day of the annual Tattoo Festival. Reservations are required and space is limited.

This year we are proud to be in partnership with the American Samoa Visitors Bureau to bring the authentic celebration of Tatau Art on beautiful Tutuila Island – and to help us showcase our island and culture to the world. They have made it possible for us to open our borders to our aiga, friends, and tourists to American Samoa. Fa’afetai tele lava.

We would also like to thank our long-time sponsors, for whom if not for their support, the festival and our efforts to support and protect the Pe’a, our culture and way of life would not be possible: Neil’s Ace Home Center, The Tool Shop, Industrial Gases, South Seas Broadcasting, Samoa News, GHC Reid & Co. Ltd / Vailima Beer, Tropik Traders, Harbor Maritime and Stevedoring – and welcoming back the #HomeTeam, ASTCA.

We also wish to welcome and thank our new sponsors, the Territorial Bank of American Samoa, Pago Pago Trading Company, and Ruby Red Café.

Stay tuned for more information, and share Tisa’s Tattoo Festival Facebook page (@TisasTattooFestival) with your friends and families on and off island.