Our Lines Connect Us
A Melanesian Skin Marking Documentary
TEP TOK 2 RELEASES September 2020
Partly Funded by: Creative NZ
Tep Tok : Our Lines Connect Us will be the second Tep Tok (Tap Talk) documentary by Julia Mage'au Grayof Sunameke Productions. A documentary that will be told in three parts following the skin marking stories of Melanesian women living in New Zealand and Australia with Papua New Guinea and Fiji heritage. The documentary will share the conversations around revival and transmission of knowledge from the perspectives of First Peoples Revivalists from Papua New Guinea, India, Philippines, Borneo, Taiwan, Inuit, Hawai’i and Aotearoa, New Zealand.
The sequel, Tep Tok : Our Lines Connect Us will share the stories of four Melanesian women:
Ranu was one of the featured women from the first Tep Tok from Gabagaba Village in Motu, Central province, PNG. This sequel will share her and her three daughters journey since the first Tep Tok. Vasa a young woman of Papua New Guinean, Samoan and Australian heritage picking up the hand tapping tools and wearing the marks of her Mekeo Bubu (Grandmother) as a descendant of the missionaries that stopped the last woman being marked in Ranu’s village in PNG.
Ema and Emmaline of Fijian heritage share their transitions in life, wearing full veiqia. The two ladies share their physical awakenings of an old practice and how it is relevant to their everyday lives in New Zealand.
Myself as a skin marker and film maker, this sequel is an avenue to author the story of the people we mark and meet on our journey through the work of Melanesian Marks.
Travelling, filming and editing Tep Tok : Reading Between Our Lines from 2012 to 2015 was a defining period of time that transformed myself from a dancer and visual artist to then picking up the tools and learning to mark skin.
The first documentary 'Tep Tok : Reading Between Our Lines' and its sequel 'Tep Tok : Our Lines Connect Us' are not the typical traditional or cinematic documentary but a complex and layered puzzle piecing of many voices from the stories shared with myself and my family. It is an avenue to author our stories from my personal Papua New Guinea Australian womans perspective.
-Julia Mage'au Gray
Thank you to those who shared their time and thoughts:
First Peoples Revivalists from Papua New Guinea, India, Philippines, Borneo, Taiwan, Inuit, Hawai’i and Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Papua New Guinea: Julia Mageau Gray, Salevasa Etoliuna Gray, Michaelyn Aisa Pokarop (Melanesian Marks)
Nagaland, India: Moranngam Khaling - Mo Naga (Headhunters’ Ink)
Philippines: Jonathan Cena & Jean Sioson (Katribu Tatu) | Lane Wilcken (lanewilcken.com)
Borneo: Herpianto Hendra (Traditional Dayak Iban tribe design, Folk Tattoo Space) | Limuel Estrop (Orangutan Studio, Kota Kinabalu) | Jeremy Lo (Kuching, Sarawak - Monkey Tattoo Studio) Taiwan: Cudjuy Patjidres (Paiwanese Tattoo)
British Columbia, Canada: Dion Kaszas (HFX Tattoo)
Inuit: Sarah Ayaqi Whalen-Lunn (Inuit hand poke and skinstitch practitioner - Ink Stitcher)
Hawai’i: Kamaliikūpono K. Hanohano
Aotearoa, New Zealand: Moko Smith (Uhi Tapu)
The voices of skin marking (tattoo) practitioners, pacific arts curators and Oceanic women that heal, are fathers, are mothers, that dance and wear their marks share their thoughts about the importance of the revival of marking skin.
Milly Koria-Grant - Vocalist, Healer - Mixed bloodlines, - Turongo Collective
Michaelyn Pokarop - Social Worker, Stretcher - Papua New Guinea - Melanesian Marks
Charlene Tedrow - Dancer, Tutor, Director - Samoa - Ura Tabu Productions
Graham Tipene - Designer and Ta Moko artist - Maori - Te Wheke Moko
Tyla Vaeau - Tattooist - Samoa - Karanga Ink
Georgie Williams - Tattooist - Maori - Georgie Williams on the road Worldwide
Tepaeru Ariki Lulu French - Medical Doctor, Dancer - Aitutaki Cook Islands - Polynesian Entertainers
Pat Morrow - Tattooist - Samoa - True Markings Studio
Julia Mage'au Gray - Director
Ranu James - Key Cast
Salevasa Gray - Key Cast
Ema Tavola - Key Cast
Emmaline Martin-Pickering - Key Cast
David Bridie - Sound
Filmed through out Oceania:
Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Hawai'i,