Sunday, March 28, 2010

On the Tattoo of Freedom: For Samoans & for Baha'is

Submissions have begun for the controversial Commission of Inquiry review into Freedom of Religion in Samoa. The government says the freedom of religion has somehow posed a direct challenge to the autonomy of the village council. Karen Te’o with the Baha’i of Samoa says in their submission they are encouraging the government to continue to uphold freedom of religion. She says over the years some Christian groups as well as those in the Baha’i faith have been discriminated against by village councils.

Today after the watching the Invaders football practice, I was asked by one Samoan brother to take a picture of him with his tattoos, which I was glad to do.

I heard him tell one of the coaches that his own father tattooed his shoulder when he was just 15.

He said his father had an "L.A." tattoo on his head, but he hastened to add that for his father the tattoo stood for "Lord Annointed."

Samoan tattooing tradiitons aren't necessarily Christian. I remember seeing pictures of Samoan tattoos that were included in an exhibit at the Anthropology Museum at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver last September.

TATAU: Samoan Tattooing and Global CultureThe contemporary significance of Samoan tattoo traditions is the focus of an insightful and provocative exhibit entitled TATAU: Samoan Tattooing and Global Culture, opening in Gallery 3 (adjacent to the Great Hall) in March. Curated by Peter Brunt, Senior Lecturer in Art History at Victoria University of Wellington, the show features over 40 photographs by distinguished New Zealand artist Mark Adams. Thanks to the Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington, and Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, for organizing this touring exhibition.

This would be the tattoo I would have on my body. -gw

"This tattoo–to me–symbolizes the unity of all religions and people," uploaded on August 9, 2005 by nonameplayer on flickr

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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