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Tatau Off The GRID attracted off island visitors for an organic Samoan Tatau experience

World Teach volunteers Reggie andd studentsMaster Tufuga Su’a Tupuola Fitiao practicing his art, assisted by ASCC Fine Arts Professor Regina Meredith Fitiao who is also his wife

Alega Beach, AMERICAN SAMOA — Hundreds of visitors who travelled to Pago Pago, to experience the touch of the ‘Au, at the world famous Tisa’s Tattoo Festival, on Tutuila Island, sailed away with a piece of Pago Pago in the heart.

And Master Tufuga Su’a Tupuola Fitiao, did not disappoint, in the least. Demands for Tatau by the Au, truly resonate our efforts for conservation of this traditional Samoan Tatau Art promoted here in American Samoa at the Annual Tisa’s Tattoo Festival event, founded some decades ago.

Economic rewards, at its best were well received and it was a win win situation for our struggling economy and visitors alike. Tisa’s Tattoo Fest also welcomed the U.S. Navy Destroyer, with her crew, to the fest for the first time.

“She was the surprised guest that awakened, the spirit of Motu O Fiafiaga,” according to Tisa. Everyone had a great time, enjoying the fest and our island hospitality. It spilled out, all over Tutuila and Aunu’u Islands.

The young crew and their captain, were thrilled to find a happy American soil and friendly island for their short stop to enjoy the Tattoo Fest, and we were grateful to have an opportunity to host them while on duty, in our region.

Motu of Fiafiaga, shinned for our visitors, and lots of tattoos made with traditional ‘Au, were exported from Tutuila  island, created by the one and only Wiz, our local traditional Tufuga, Su’a Tupuola Fitiao

Tatau Off the Grid and theme of this year’s Tisa’s Tattoo Festival was the huge attraction for the popular event, and in keeping true to Alega Preservation Institute mission statement, of conservation and preservation of our land, life and our culture, and this ancient cultural art of the Samoan islands.  It was the demands of the ‘Au that kept Su’a busy for the entire weekend, through Monday after the fest.

We felt a strong lift to fuel Folauga, a le Tatau, on weak spots along the trail this year. With the help of our sponsors, the trail eventually cleared up. Fa’afetai tele to our new and major sponsor Hawaiian Airlines, an longtime sponsors, South Seas Broadcasting, GHC Reid/ Vailima, American Samoa Visitors Bureau, Office of Marine and Wildlife, Samoa News, Tool Shop, Industrial Gases, Ace Neil’s Hardware Center, Harbor Maritime, McConnell Dowell and Friends of Amata.

They contributed to the success of the 14th Annual Tattoo Fest, here in Alega. In kind donations by Turtle and Shark, Cost U less, and Star Struck Coffee Shop, were great give-a-way gifts for participants of Touched By The ‘Au  Living Art Exhibition in the spirit of The Tatau celebration.

World Teach Volunteers, brought their people skills to the fest, in exchange for a Samoan cultural experience that they will never forget.

It was a great honor to meet the newly crowned Ms. American Samoa, 2018 to the fest. We thank, MASI for their Partnership in the fest event every year.

Not often we share our chanting skills publicly. Renowned, local artist Reggie Meredith Fitiao introduced this rare component of expression in art form, to the beat of mat drums as she chanted the Ta Tatau poem, for fest goers.

We were honored to have the support of Congresswoman, Aumua Amata at the Tatau Art celebration. As a member of Malofie Aiga, we are grateful to share this wonderful event with our honorable Representative.

Magical sounds of  ocean crashing at the popular back drop stage, and happy island kids, building castles on the beach, to the melody by Ulale, kept the event balanced at grass root level;

It is safe to declare this year’s festival, a huge success for the hardworking team of Tisa’s Annual Tattoo Fest and partners. Keep It Green Samoa Amerika, and Super Food Producers, introduced their first harvest of newly introduced pepper crops and homemade organic products for the fest. NCRD and Marine and Wildlife were there to educate the public and share our common interest of conservation and preservation of Natural Resources.

Special thanks to Malofie Aiga that came in full support of the Living Art Exhibition, with a winning spirit. Our sincere Fa’afetai to Tatau Manaia for your continuous support and Master Su’a Tupuola Fitiao Wilson for accommodating the demands of the ‘Au from off island visitors.

We look forward to another successful Tisa’s Tattoo Fest next year, same month and time here at the World Famous Tisa’s Barefoot Beach Bar venue at beautiful Alega village. Mark your calendar, October 25-27- 2019 for the 15th celebration of Tisa’s Tattoo Festival.

Fair sailing to hundreds of visitors that joined the celebration of the Tatau, this past weekend. A massive shoutout to the people of American Samoa, and our hard working volunteers and staff. Vi’ia le Atua.

Last but not least, I want to thank the Eastern Side commuters, my family, village and district, for your support. American Samoa once more enjoyed the gifts of the Gods, with plenty of Palolo harvest for palolo thrill seekers two days after the fest.

Fa’afetai ma ia Manuia Amerika Samoa.