Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuiga making just got 'eerie'

Last week, I was visited by my sister's friend's daughter and her mother.
They saw the tuiga pictures on here and asked if i could make her one.
The daughter, is a stunning Samoan dancer and also the leader of her Samoan group in school.
Anyhow, the mother, who understands the beauty and value of protecting their family measina, found that the tuiga was in bad condition in Samoa, but she carefully removed the laulu and saved it aside.
...now, this is where I come in, ...I have the tuiga frame and i offered to make them a new one using their tuiga hair.
This tuiga has kept me occupied the last few nights, even after a whole day at Pasifika, I still came home and spent 3 hours on it.
I was that committed because I was looking froward to putting the hair on.
Now the hair, is gorgeous, tied in small parts with afa (sinnet), hair that has been bleached with lemon, sea water, sunshine, repeat process.
The dancer's mother, told me they used to walk to the sea to get buckets of sea water for the hair.
We lived near the sea, so Lealali used to take the hair to the water and leave it for hours...it was just so beautiful talking to someone who lived in that world, where tuigas and pale agigas and nifo otis were treasured and passed around and made so intricately.
But aside from this intrinsic value...i felt a bit awkward at 2am last night, as I was fixing the sinnet that has come off, and replacing it with thread...it got me nervous, ...who the freck was I to meddle with this family's measina?! What if the women whose hair I hold are watching me in disgust?
Oh my God, what was that sound?
Are they doing to rip my hair off my head for meddling their family heirloom?
Needless to say, I paid extra attention to my needle and diligently tied the laulu to the tuiga.
Without using the scissors once....yes, I was that mindful that quite possibly, the old ladies of this family are sitting next to my worktable, with their ili ready to whack me with if i buggered up their hair.
(palaai much, yes).

(I will ask T and her mom first if i can post a photo and will show it here some time this week).

For mor information about the tuigas I sell, email me at jtiatia@gmail.com


Betty said...


I like how respectful you are of someone else's treasure and how much love and passion you have for our measina. I love how you appreciate it's value and how mindful you are of it's history - it's this and many other reasons I love reading your blog...my imagination goes on a rampant mission whenever I read a post!

Anonymous said...

Talofa !

i was just wanting to know whether you make Tuiga,
and if you do , whether you have some Fuati Lauulu..

feel free to contact me at d.tamasese@hotmail.com

Goddess said...

Thank you Betty, I'm flattered you think so, I'm just lucky as I enjoy the process and seeing it all come together! I forgot to say, I had the honour of wearing one of your family's tuiga and borrowed their nifo oti. Its partly what I went down this path,...coz i wanted to own one! manuia evaga o le afiafi x

Goddess said...

Hi Hokokumara, I responded to ur email.

jo_an said...

Its wonderful reading about your experience re-making and fashioning a newly designed and created tuiga headpiece for another family with such respect and care. I only recently learnt how to make a tuiga so I really enjoyed reading about the creative process involved in making one with real human hair. I actually asked my mum if I could have her hair when she passes on after reading this post (a month or so ago) she said yes! thank you for sharing :)