Keeping Our Stories Alive
by Lana Lopesi and Grace Teuila Evelyn Iwashita-Taylor
This book explores Samoan tatau in two parts: the first part is an interview with tattooist Tyla Vaeau and the second is a comic that retells how tatau came to Sāmoa. The interview with Tyla explores her Samoan culture, how she became a tufuga tā masini (electric tattoo artist), the process and practice of tattooing, and the significance of being a woman working with tatau. The comic retells the origin story of how tatau – and in particular the malu – came to Sāmoa through Tilafaigā and Taemā. The book links to the article “For the Ancestors”, published in School Journal, Level 3, November 2019, which recounts one woman’s experience of receiving her malu.