My Malu


This Spirit, did not examine bloodlines, or add up years spent, nor tally words learnt.

This identity, called like a lover, impossible to resist. It stood at the door and knocked.

It asked only of the heart, and waited for just one word.

And with my Yes, came freedom. Unexpected. Arresting. Because I have listened to just one voice.

The only one that matters.

In the roar of the waterfall, in the busy-ness of life. As deep called to deep, I listened. Even as the waves washed over me, I was found.

The first touch was like no other, an awakening to what surrender truly means, the willingness to suffer for all that is mamalu (sacred). A searing reminder of what it means to be fa’amalu (the protector) of my family.

I watched, considered each new mark. My eyes as open as my spirit. I wanted to feel it all. To be present as my transformation progressed. To observe my own becoming, as the ink of Samoa flowed through my skin and in to my blood.

The last tap, a full stop with the most perfect timing of all. The peace of knowing who I am, sinks deep. The applause from my sisters, the sigh of harmony, and the heartbeat we now share.

This baptism of identity, wrapped in culture, washed in love, becomes me.

And for those that feel the need to ask ‘that’ question, no, I don’t own this culture.

It owns me.


13 thoughts on “My Malu

  1. My Malu, made me tearful because it reminded me of true love, and answered a lot of my own questions, it is truly beautiful inside and out. Thank you x

  2. Life is a journey and this shows a past and a future. It was a very interesting read! The tattoo is very beautiful.
    Do all the different marking symbol different things? Sorry I just find it very interesting.

    1. Thank you. Yes they do have different meanings. When you receive a Malu, you do not choose your design or symbols. It is entirely up to the Tufuga as he is the one gifting it. It’s wonderful, but also scary. But as soon as I saw the first marks, I knew it would be beautiful xx

      1. It is very beautiful, unique and special! Thank you for sharing this journey xx

  3. This was so beautiful in all its entirety from the Mali to the words written on this page. You are a beautiful representation of what you wear! All the best. Xoxo

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