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Raised on the beautiful island of Tutuila, I was blessed to have access to artists, story-tellers, historians, and elders who shared their lives and experiences with us freely.
I have always felt a connection between my artwork and culture and legacy of my Pacific nation. Although many of the pieces have intricate details which are known only to few, I am honored by the excitement and emotions the artwork sparks in those who have acquired them.

  • Moe Manatunatu

    "Moe Manatunatu"- “For if you want sight and insight into my psyche, you will have to speak to the gods who inhabit it. You have to eavesdrop on the dialogue between my ancestors and my soul. You have to address my sense of belonging...I am not an individual; I am an integral part of the cosmos. I share divinity with my ancestors, the land, the seas and the skies. I am not an individual, because I share a tofi (an inheritance) with my family, my village and my nation. I belong to my family and my family belongs to me. I belong to my village and my village belongs to me. I belong to my nation and my nation belongs to me. This is the essence of my sense of belonging.” - Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Efi

    Inspired by these beautiful words, this painting was born to show how our ancestors truly are a part of who we truly are.

    Moe Manatunatu 
  • Upu Taofiofi

    Samoan tatau, or tattoos are sacred marks given by tufuga (masters of their craft). This rare painting depicts a woman with a malofie, or a traditionally male tattoo or tatau. This was not a normal practice in Samoa. The piece, called “Upu Taofiofi”, translated to "warning to keep it secret", is a peek at the many secrets that villages hold within Samoa. 
    My family told us many stories about our history as we were growing up in Sāmoa, but these stories were not all meant to be heard by everyone. There were secrets only known by certain villages of Sāmoa, and while answers to many of the questions in Polynesian history can be answered by these stories, it is tapu (forbidden) to share with those outside of the village family.
    While I heard rumors of a relative who had a malofie/pe‘a like a man, I never found out the full story. Why did she have this? Who gave it to her? Were there other women who had this as well? Was this before men were given these types of tatau?
    I may never know, and that is ok, but her story has asked me to paint this, so here she is in all her glory.

    Upu Taofiofi 
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