Embodying Resistance

    Nov 5 2015 - Oct 9 2016



The ancient tradition of tattoo continues to be practiced to this day throughout the Pacific Islands and the Philippines, a living reminder of the history and ancestral connections across the islands.  Hear the unique perspectives from Tatak ng Aat Alon (Mark of the Four Waves) Tribe, a nationwide indigenous Filipino group, and see rare artifacts such as tattoo instruments from Fiji and Belau.

Pacific Connections (downloadable PDF to come shortly – physical copies are available now to be picked up at the Museum) is an off-site initiative that challenges participants to visit and support Pacific Islander owned businesses in Washington. Visit nine of the businesses partnered with The Wing, or write in a P.I. owned business you know of that is not on the list, and return to the Museum to receive a prize.

Our words for blood are toto, eleele, and palapala. Eleele and palapala are also our terms for earth, soil, mud. We are therefore made of earth. Our blood, which keeps us alive, is earth. So when you are tatauing the blood, the self, you are reconnecting it to the earth, reaffirming that you are earth. The tatau and malu are not just beautiful decoration, they are scripts-texts-testimonies to do with relationships, order, form, and so on.Tatau became defiant texts or scripts of nationalism and identity. Much of the indigenous was never colonized, tamed, or erased.” – Samoan poet and writer Albert Wendt

 Tatak ng Aat Alon (Mark of the Four Waves) Tribe
Alexus Segi receiving a malu,
2014, Courtesy of the Beverly Segi


Tatau/Tattoo: Embodying Resistance is made possible by the support of community partners and the generosity of our donors and sponsors.

Major Sponsors:

Guendolen Carkeek Plestcheeff Fund for the Decorative and Design Arts


, clothing store, Renton
, bakery, Georgetown
, Hawaiian Style BBQ, Federal Way
, University District
, Shoreline
, Burien
, restaurant, Tacoma
, coffee shop, Kent
, Port Orchard
, restaurant, Tacoma
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