06 August, 2010

Age old Samoan tattooing centre stage in Shanghai

Samoan traditional tattooing has taken centre stage at the Samoan booth here at the 2010 World Expo.

Personalities such as Vaimasenu'u Zita Martel and Manu Samoa flyhalf Roger Warren capped of the campaign this week when their pe'a and malu were completed and given the traditional "samaga" ceremony in the presence of master tattoo artist Suluape Petelo, the Samoan Ambassador to China Tapusalaia Terry Toomata, CEO of the Samoa Tourism Authority Matatamalii Sonja Hunter and the Samoan group here for the Expo.

Tattooing is one of the major elements of Samoa's promotional campaign together with a push for its peoples living culture and lush and peaceful environment in a bid to attract Chinese tourists.

Roger is the second rugby star to have the pe'a completed at the Expo. Legendary rugby star Muliagataele Brian Lima completed his pe'a infront of thousands of visitors to the Samoan booth last month. Roger took a week to complete his tatau.

Vaimasenu'u is well know in the sporting circles as the most successful female captain of the champion longboat Segavao rowed by students of the Don Bosco Vocational College at Alafua. She braved the pain for about seven hours on 1 August during the Samoa National Day. 

The pair celebrated their achievement with the Samoan siva that drew in hundreds more visitors to the Samoan booth.

Story and Photo by Angela Kronfeld-Polu (Talamua)