“Tatau is one of the most effective signposts
in telling the world who you are.”
– Lisa Taouma
Of all of the art of the skin in Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean), the markings for women have been given the least attention. Yet Tatau Fafine is imbued with mana and meanings which reach back through time to the very origins of Pacific tatau history.
The film looks at a number of women who are now reclaiming the art of tatau for themselves as well as for the memories of their ancestors. The result is a celebration of the wave of female tatau artists that is now turning the tides of the male-dominated culture of Pacific tattooing.
“A valuable, enlightening and uplifting look at the ceremonial aspect of Polynesian tattoos.”
From the two tatau goddesses who brought the art to Samoa to the practice of marking women in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Aotearoa, Lisa Taouma’s film explores these ancient symbols, their meanings and their relevance for today’s Polynesian women.
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Previous festival appearances for Marks of Mana include
imagineNATIVE, Canada: winner, Best Documentary Work Long Format
Advisory: Contains a brief scene of non-sexual nudity.