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Greetings from Sweden with Samoan anecdote and Nordic film


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I'´m Hampus Samuelsson from Sweden. Long interested in cultural tattoos and collected a few as well. It all started in the beginning of the 21th century when I traveled to Samoa for my first time. My girlfriend at the time had her family there. Her father worked at the hospital on Tutuila so we visited them during christmas. They knew this tattoo artist there, Wilson Fitiao, and he did my very first hand tapped tattoo. After that I needed to get back. And so I did in 2007. This time I had to meet up with Petelu Suluape. So the search began about a year before the trip. I talked to Heidi Hay in my home town, she were about to marry Paulo Suluape which tragically ended up in him being murdered :(. But even if she were close to Petelo, she could not help me. So I started calling to the US, tried to get hold of Freewind Suluape but failed, talked to a bunch of artists and customers but nothing. So I searched the internet. There I found I guy on bebo, an australian facebook version at the time. He was family to Petelo Suluape so we started chatting a bit and some phone calls. Eventually I could speak to Petelo himself. His english was not as good as I thought it would be, so I got suspicious. Talked to Heidi again and she also thought it sounded weird, Petelo speaks good english. Turned out I had been speaking with his brother, they shared the same name! The rumour says he was born Alaiva'a but took his brothers place in school and been called Petelo since. Anyway, time was running out and I left for New Zealand with still no contact with Petelo Suluape. Four month went by in NZ and I sat on the plane to Samoa about a year after I started my search, with nothing. But while walking the streets in Apia a saw an american that I recognized from the site couchsurfing. There were only two registered couches in Samoa so I had read both their profiles. This guy, Peter, had his wrists tattoed by Petelo. I called out his name, and he was much surprised that I recognized him. I asked him if he knew where I could find Petelo,

-Sure, he's a shop right around the corner, next to Spoons (the ice cream shop)!

A whole year of searching and it was this easy? I went straight to the shop where I met, another, Peter. He was the son of Petelo and a very talented artist. I asked him if I could book a time with Petelo.

-Petelo? no, he's in Hawaii.


-He'll be back on Thursday.


Got his cell number and waited for Thursday, called but no answer, friday nothing. Saturday morning, finally! I described what I wanted and he sounded interested.

-Can you come tomorrow, 10 o'clock?

-Hell yeah.

It was finally happening. Took a taxi down to Faleasiu and we went through my ideas. He grabbed my arm and twisted it around almost to breaking point. Then finally said.

-It's a big tattoo........ OK!

Six (!) hours later it was done and they smuggled my out of the village in a minivan and dropped me of at the highway where I had to hitch hike back to Apia, manuia le kerisimasi. Why? It was Sunday and he wasn't allowed to tattoo on Sundays or he have to pay a fine to the church. Eight years later and my tattoo still rocks. Solid black and sharp lines.


But, that's not the reason I came. I've done some viking reenactment in my days, about ten years, and met a lot of interesting people. Some of them tattoo artist working with hand poking techniques. Peter Walrus, Kai Uwe Faust and Colin Dale to name a few. Being a hobby videographer I ended up doing a short interview with Colin Dale that I'd like to share with you. Hope you like it :)

Watch it in full HD here: https://vimeo.com/abacrombie/roots

Maybe something for your video section @slayer9019

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Thank you all!

Thanks for sharing the story + video of your tattoo and also the video of Colin Dale! He seems to be in every tattoo convention I visit, it was interesting to hear him speak his mind too.

Yeah, he travels alot, and not only Europe. He's stuck in Nepal right now with a buch of other tattoo artists, safe and sound.

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