Renowned tattooist, Su’a Peter Suluape put down his au on Friday Jan. 5 (Samoa Time) to promise to love, honor and cherish Leaumoana Salamaotua Faleupoluusumai Fonoti Satele Achica Manuo.
The two were joined in holy matrimony during a private ceremony held at the Aiga Paia Catholic Church in Faleasi’u.
The tattoo-clad groom is the eldest son of master tufuga, Su’a Suluape Petelo Alaiva’a and Asiasiga Suluape, of Faleasi’u.
The bride is the youngest of 16 children born to the late Laulu Nofoatolu Satele Manuo and Matafetu Achica Ishihara-Manuo but was also raised by a second mother, her aunt Lorita “Lika” Achica.
The groom hails from the villages of Matafa’a and Faleasiu, the bride from Alamagoto, Vaimoso, Lufilufi, Faleapuna and Utulei, American Samoa.
The newlyweds met during a parade held in Hawaii some years back when both Su’a and Moana represented Hawaii’s Sogaimiti and Malu Community.
Su’a is a tattooist by trade and his wife Moana is choreographer for Faletuiga’s dance troupe Mitamitaga O Samoa.
Last year, one of Moana's dance students won the highly-coveted taualuga competition at the We Are Samoa High School Cultural Arts Festival hosted by the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Mrs. Suluape received her malu at the age of 13 from Master Tattooist Tufuga Su'a Sulu'ape Alaiva'a Petelo, now her father-in-law.
She is also a computer science major at Leeward Community College, well-known in Polynesian entertainment circles in Hawaii having won three siva Samoa competition titles: Miss Tausala Flag Day Samoa-Hawaii; Miss Taupou North Shore and a Leeward district taualuga title.
Moana's maternal grandmother is the late Selesitina Fe'esago Fa'ala'a Wesley Achica of Alamagoto and Vaimoso, who is interred at Laie. She was a member of the Mau Movement.
Moana's extended family and friends in Hawaii anxiously await the arrival of the newlyweds for a second ceremony and celebration in the Aloha State.
From Waipahu, her big sister Tina Mata'afa-Tufele says: "We cried tears of joy for you today Moana and Su'a. We cried tears of sadness too. All in all, we are elated and so very happy! We pray that Heavenly Father bless your union eternally.
“Congratulations and alofa atu, from all of your family and all of your friends waiting for you in Hawaii. We love and miss you both. God speed on your return home."
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(This story was previously published by the Samoa Observer. It has been re-printed on tautalatala.com by permission of the Samoa Observer.)