American Samoa Tattoo Fest Coincides With Palolo Season

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Anticipated arrival of Samoan worm highlight of the year

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Oct. 26, 2013) – The Annual Tisa's Tattoo Fest is ‘super sized’ this year with the celebration featuring tattoos plus palolo and a variety of art forms at the 9th Annual Tisa’s Tattoo Festival this weekend.

Starting in the early hours of Friday morning at 1 a.m., the arrival of Palolo season will kick off the Tattoo Fest this year on Thursday night-Friday morning at Alega Beach. This once a year occurrence is one of the most anticipated natural events enjoyed by the Samoan islands every year in October. Bring your scoop and bucket and let’s Ka palolo at Alega Beach.

Friday October 25, the main events of the Tattoo Fest begin at 9 a.m. with art exhibits by

Saturday October 26, 2013:

At 9 a.m., both traditional and machine skin art tattooing exhibits will be an all day activity. Art Show by ASCC students, led by Professor of Art Regina A. Meredith, will include woodcarving, making of traditional Tapa and paint art displayed in a one-day only show and entertainment by the New Generation, a "Ukulele Ensemble" of ASCC.

An Ava Ceremony, and Tatau and Malu competition for the best of the fest Tatau and Malu awards will conclude day two of the fest ending at 5 p.m. Barefoot Wine/IMPEX as, a special treat for the fest, will host a wine tasting party at the end of Festival Day on Saturday.

Two Master Tufugas are on hand with some of the finest traditional tatau artists representing two different Aiga Ta Pe’a of the Samoan Islands.

Master Tufuga, Afioga Tupou La’ai Sa Su’a of Sa Su’a Aiga Ta Pe’a, of Lefaga will represent Samoa this year. He specializes in ancient tatau patterns that are uniquely Samoan. Samoan traditional tattooing also offers special healing, not known in modern society, for people with special medical conditions.

Four times award winning and popular master Tufuga, Afioga Tupuola Wilson Su’a Suluape will represent Amerika Samoa. He is well known for his tatau art and revolutionized the Tatau pattern in 1994.

Both master artists are the finest in their field of traditional tattooing and each will offer different tattoo patterns styles representative of their Aiga Ta Pe’a. Both traditional artists will offer the unique healing process "Fa’agata" at Tisa’s Tattoo Fest.

Contrary to some beliefs, Samoan tatau patterns belong to Aiga Ta Pe’a only and their tatau pattern represents who they are. Each Aiga Ta Pe’a owns their unique tatau patterns. In fact, royal families in Samoan islands are known to wear different and sacred tatau patterns that belong only to royal families. They have been known to have their own Tufugas who catered to royalty of the Samoan islands including the sacred island of Manu’a, before the tatau was banned for a time in the early days.

Machine artists using modern methods to apply skin art and specializing in tribal tattoo art are award winning artists Joe Ioane of "Off the Rock Tattoo", Duffy Hudson, of "Manaia Tattoo Shop", El Uiligitone of "Free Style Ink", and the youngest tattoo artist, Pesi Mahe who brings Tongan tattoo style to the mix.

Sunday October 27, Tattoo fest opens at 9 a.m. Both traditional and machine applied tattoo art will exhibit until 2:00 p.m. Other Sunday activities include a Tatau Art Fashion Show including hats, beachwear, t-shirts and sunglasses locally made by Pacific Roots.

Ipu Popo Art by Ula and a preview of a Samoan Love Story, "SEKI A OE" comedy film to be released at Christmas by Navigator Islands Film Makers, is a special treat on Sunday October 27th, the last day of the fest.

Best of the Fest Tattoos applied with modern machines, competition and skin show in the afternoon and the awards ceremony will follow with special tributes to all sponsors of Tisa’s Tattoo Fest 2013.

We would like to welcome our new sponsors McConnell Dowell and Don’t Drink the Water to the Tisa’s Annual Tattoo Festival this year.

"Without your support, Tisa’s Tattoo Festival would not have made it this far. Malo and fa’afetai tele to all the sponsors of Tisa’s Tattoo Festival," says the Fest’s founder Tisa Fa'amuli.

Tisa’s Tattoo Fest is proudly brought to you by American Samoa Visitors Bureau and Samoa News.

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