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PROFILES

Angela Tiatia

The body is political;

politics is embodied

BY SOPHIE ROSE

Portrait of ANGELA TIATIA. Photo by Kieren Cooney. 

Courtesy the artist and Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney/Singapore.

There are two common English words that borrow from Polynesian languages: tattoo (tatau) and taboo (tapu or tabu). In many precolonial Pacific cultures, tattoos were a form of familial identification and clothing. Yet when Christian missionaries gained footholds in the region in the 18th and 19th centuries, tattooing, deemed heathen, was highly discouraged and in some instances criminalized. Since then, the female-worn

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