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Tisa’s Tattoo Fest becomes more than a celebration of Tatau Art

Some of the jewelry made from stone flakes found
Source: Tisa'a Tattoo Festival

Alega Village, AMERICAN SAMOA — Tisa’s Tattoo Fest is reinventing itself and has become more than a promoter of The Sacred Tatau Art of the Samoans in 2019.

 “This year was the most educational and informative celebration of the Tatau Art for me, and I am grateful to team up with our local health department to help educate the public about necessary precautions when getting inked,” Tattoo Fest founder Tisa Faamuli told Samoa News this week.

 At this year’s Fest, Tattoo artists learned to recognize the health concerns of tattooing and who should not get tattooed. These are some of the hot button issues, that were long overdue for discussion among health professionals and Tattoo artists and they were discussed at Tisa’s Tattoo Fest  in Alega, last weekend. 

Public Health Department and Tisa’s Tattoo Fest partnered in an open dialogue discussion with invited Tattoo guest artists  from Samoa about disease prevention on the first day of the Fest.  In fact, Public Health Department became one of our biggest supporters and remained onsite throughout the festival. “I am grateful to get this much needed support to insure safety of the public wanting to get inked including the safety of local tattoo artists, from catching unwanted blood diseases from their line of work,” Tisa said.

The stainless steel needle tips introduced at Tisa’s Tattoo Fest this past weekend by Su’a Alaiva’a of Samoa. Samoa tattoo artists are changing to stainless steel tips rather than the traditional boar tusk tips that are hard to sterilize and could easily lodge in the body causing infections. [courtesy photo]

Both American Samoa and Samoa engaged in a win-win partnership to address safety and health issues facing the journey of the Tatau in the 21st century.

Licensing, certification and health cards are requirements imposed by Public Health at the fest, to insure the continuation of the Tatau Art in Samoa.


It was a pleasure to welcome a new generation of Tufuga from Samoa at the Fest this year. They have been the biggest supporters of Tisa’s Tattoo Fest, since it was founded in 1993. Without Tufuga Alaiva’a and Machine Tattoo artist Paulo Mauia, of Samoa, there would have been a lot of disappointed visitors with a bucket list to be checked off at the famous Tattoo Fest of Tutuila island.

To all visitors of Tisa’s Tattoo Fest 2019 — thank you for making American Samoa your travel destination this year. The magical legend of Pava Story telling by Le Sina left the fest crowd wanting for more and was a new event.

Thank you ASCC fine Arts department and Reggie Meredith Fitiao for your endless support of the Tatau Art promotion. Ava ceremony was enjoyed by all Fest goers, and we want to thank Maki for performing the Ava ceremony, to the delight of our visitors.

Congresswoman Aumua Amata continues to demonstrate the true spirit of the Malu through service and Tautua to the people of American Samoa. Thank you for your support of Tisa’s Tattoo Fest.

My hard working team, Jason, Cathy and Candy Man you are the bomb. Thank you.

Long time Sponsors of Tisa’s Annual Tattoo Fest are champions of the journey of the Tatau. The Fest is proud to share Tisa’s popular brand with local businesses who share the mission of Alega Preservation Institute and preservation of our traditional cultural arts. Please support KHJ, 103, and South Seas Broadcasting, American Samoa’s Visitors Bureau, Samoa News, Tool Shop, Industrial Gases, GHC Reid & Co Ltd/ Vailima, Neil’s Ace Home Center, Harbor Maritime Tropic Traders, Skyview, Friends of Amata, Manu’a Store, and new sponsor, Pago Pago Trading Company.

A big Fa’a Malo to Chamber of Commerce for staying strong and positive as we navigate our way through these difficult times for our planet earth. Your support of local businesses is uplifting.

Thank you Alega, and the entire eastern district, for your support. May you find comfort in knowing you are in our daily prayers.

Lastly, Samoa and Sava’i’i, Manono ma Apolima, you have been kind sisters to Tutuila.  Malo le fai uso.

See you at the Fest, same time next year and we are excited to invite you to join The Tisa’s Tattoo Fest team in the celebration of The Tatau in Samoa next month.