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.