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My roots run deep into a lineage of tattooed women on my dad's side

 By Elsie Roroipe (Bilawei)

My roots run deep into a  lineage of tattooed women on my dad's side. 

I remember when I returned home from University, for holidays on my freshman year, with my first tattoo. My dad flipped. Told me to remove it, he didn't care how but to remove it. It was the Milne Bay traditional design I have around my left arm. I cried, yes I did. My late grandma (his mom) was with me then. She consoled me, telling me she liked it and that her mom and older sister had tattoos...also her older brother's wife had tattoos! 

I returned home every other year from Uni with a new tatt. 

Somethings I guess are instilled in us naturally. I may seem like my dad's rebellious child who takes after his female lineage... that, I do not regret. 

This piece is a tribute to my tattooed ancestors!   

First ever swimwear by Bilawei. Face paint design and prints insipired by my late Great Grandma and Grand aunts' tattoos. 

MODEL: Beautiful, ever so daring Theresa Nathaniel 💙

PC:  Juqxez Nalo Nalofreelens

LOCATION: Keleton Island, Milne Bay

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