Sunday, June 10, 2012

discovering mysteries in old Samoa photography

Since this whole tuiga journey, I have done extensive obsessive research about it, in libraries (Nelson library in Apia, Wellington, Auckland) and have been to museums just to see tuigas in its many forms.

I am fascinated with it, with how tuigas have evolved, and how beautiful they are, ....were.

Also, at how some are outrightly. Ugly.

There is a classic example of ugly tuiga at the Auckland museum, made in the 90s and it reminds me of something suited for a Brazilian kugki at the Carnival. Seriously.

On the other hand, I am in love with the display of tuigas at the recent Samoan independence, ..with some absolutely gorgeous ones from Tutuila.

This week, I am recreating one to mirror one from an old photo that was captured by Otto Tetten, who came to Samoa to set up the Mulinuu Observatory during the German Administration.

This is very special to me, because I was fortunate enough to see the personal collection he owned, in Germany, still in the original suitcase it was kept in. I wrote about this back in 2006 when I visited the beautiful Niggeman family but at the time, I didn't really see the tuiga ones as special. I was more overwhelmed with the extensive collection.

Now, I am loving it. in the image by Tettens, it displays the tuiga in its 4 parts, in great detail, with two men tasked with placing the tuiga on the wearers head.

I love it.

I will report back when it's finished,....next year. Hah....

I am trying to make this one our family one, but I am a little short on hair,....so any relatives out there wanting to be part of history and part with their long hair..., let me know and I'll bring my scissors...please don't cut your hair in large clumps, but divvy them up into small parts so it's easier for me to tie. Please,.....no pressure (:

Thanks Malelega for salvaging our tuiga hair from Safuanation, it's a good start.

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