Introduction: Growing up as a child of mixed race, I was never aware of the major influences my ethnic identity
would play upon my existence as a designer today Looking back now I have seen how important the
teachings of my elders and Samoan relatives have become in providing me with a sense of respect for
tradition, Samoan culture and faith. Yet, I am always reminded of my European and Scottish
heritage when encountering differences.
From the experiences I have attained through my involvement in the Pasifika Arts community, my
professional role in high-end menswear, and a daughter to a father of European Scottish heritage, I
have begun to question where these values around tradition and culture will lie in the future.
The interconnected culture of Siapo has been a prominent medium in navigating this journey.
About this Exegesis This exegesis is constructed through five main parts and a progressive conclusion. Each part consists
of a short film and supporting text as an attempt to provide a glimpse in to the experiences and
context gained throughout the project.
It should also be noted that the use of Talanoa has been a prominent research methodology
throughout this journey ( 1)
( 1) Talanoa - a tong an term meaning "a personal encounter where people story their issues, their
realities and aspirations" (Vaioleti, 1999-2003). Several talanoa with Rev. S.L. Vaioleti, Head of the
Church of Tonga, USA, in Palo Alto, Oakland, San Francisco.
This design thesis has been converted from original tiff image files into a PDF. The textual PDF needs to be read in conjunction with the films.