Two portraits side by side of Samoan men posing seated in a studio in front of plain gray backdrop. Both men are wearing a traditional red hued wrap around third midsection with their hands on their hips that have traditional tatau covering their legs.

Tatau: Marks of Polynesia explores the tradition of Samoan tatau and the pivotal role it plays in the preservation and propagation of Samoan culture. Photographs made in the studio and on location in Samoa and elsewhere, help showcases the work of traditional Samoan tattoo masters alongside that of younger practitioners working within and influenced by the tradition today.

Events and programming celebrating Tatau are forthcoming. Check back for more information. 

The traveling version of Tatau: Marks of Polynesia was curated by Takihiro Kitamura and organized by the Japanese American National Museum. See Tatau at the UMFA starting August 12, 2023. 

Presenting Sponsor: Al and Sue Landon
Funded in Part By: The Joseph and Evelyn Rosenblatt Enrichment Fund

Tattoo by Su'a Sulu'ape Peter, Photo by John Agcaoili
Tattoo by Su'a Sulu'ape Paul, Photo by John Agcaoili