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Get ready for the 17th Annual Tisa’s Tattoo Festival

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Alega Preservation Institute and Tisa’s Barefoot Bar are pleased to Alega announce the Annual Tattoo Festival on October 29 – 30. This event, founded in 1993, marks the 17th year of the Tatau Festival in American Samoa with the gracious support of the local government and business community.

Onsite in beautiful Alega village, the two-day Tattoo event will again be streaming live for health reasons to reduce the number of fest-goers —and continuing the annual festival as a global event, for Samoans all over the world.

“Attending virtually online, connects our people in a cultural event unique to American Samoa – uniting friends, family, and tourists from abroad. Last year, more than 250,000 people attended our event virtually to celebrate the Pe’a and Malu,” says Tisa Faamuli, founder and organizer of the Annual Tattoo Festival.

“This year, we are targeting half a million visitors (500,000 people) to promote and celebrate the Malofie of our culture and the beauty of American Samoa as a tourist destination.” This year organizers have been asked to help document more stories on the Malofie of community and assist families record and honor the integrity of their Pe’a and Malu across the Samoan archipelago and worldwide.

“We believe celebrating these sacred symbols of our strength, culture and way of life is more important this year than at any other time in our 17-year history of the Tattoo Festival, as our living art becomes more meaningful when it is threatened by modern culture.”

From Saturday to Sunday (October 29 – 30), the two-day event will highlight original versions of the Tatau history through performing arts. Streamed live, with local guest panels broadcast live from Tisa’s Barefoot Bar in Alega, American Samoa. With overseas online guests, the topics of traditional arts, from Tufuga carvers and Siapo makers — to the Tattoo artists will be discussed and shared in an open forum for all to participate.

Additionally there will be music groups, singers, Samoan Siva groups, and of course – live tattooing and virtual online contests and $2,000 in prizes provided by the local business community. A special Umu at the “Stay for the Tatau Bash” will be held on Sunday, 4-8 p.m.

The public is invited to participate in Virtual Tatau activities, including submitting TikTok videos in various Siva dance categories to win prizes from their video submissions, with people voting from all over the world on social media. More info on Facebook@TisasTattooFestival with details and submission guidelines.

“The support of our longtime sponsors, individuals and businesses, continues to make it possible for Alega Preservation Institute (API) to help preserve and protect our natural resources, land and culture. We are also very proud to continue our partnership with the American Samoa Visitors Bureau to showcase the beauty of our island and our culture in bringing you our Tatau Festival from Tutuila Island during the pandemic.”

WHAT’S IN THE FUTURE FOR THE FEST?

Beginning next year, the event and year-round efforts will be to transition the event from a weekend celebration on the beach to organizing and establishing a local O Malofie Amerika Samoa Club and giving back to the community. It is the responsibility as Malofie wearers and keepers of the Tatau Art to protect the integrity of the Tatau and support cultural understanding and practice to benefit youth in their journey to take on traditional leadership at the village level concerning the Fa’a Samoa and our traditional art. The Malofie community are welcome to meet and greet visiting Tufugas, at Sunday Toana’i, and share new information to accomplish our goal e Tausi ai le Mamalu o le Malofie.

Last year, the Festival was humbled by the participation of Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata and Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa of Samoa for sharing their stories and the meaning of their Malofie at the festival. “We look forward to their participation in organizing a local Malofie community to work together and do more to support the community and uphold the respect and tautua of the Tatau.

Stay tuned for more information, and share Tisa’s Tattoo Festival Facebook page (@TisasTattooFestival) with your friends. Book your own watch party and share your Tatau memories with friends and families at our 17th Annual 2022 Tattoo Festival.

For more information, please contact tisafaamuli29@gmail.com For reservations contact 731-7100. See you at the fest.

(Source: Alega Preservation Institute press release)