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Marlo Lualemana Earthbound Tattoo

Posted by NĀ KOA

Marlo Lualemana

Marlo created the Polynesian tattoo art for Ola cuff bracelet.

Born and raised on Oahu, and a professional hula dancer for 10 years, Marlo now lives and works as a tattoo artist in Northern California.

Her start as a tattoo artist was unorthodox.  She drew a custom tattoo design for her Samoan husband who is an avid tattoo collector. But the cost of getting the tattoo applied proved prohibitive, so her husband suggested that Marlo tattoo him instead.

Lacking experience, she studied Samoan and Hawaiian patterns, then fell in love with the intricate designs in Maori, Tahitian and Marquesan patterns. 

For three years, Marlo self-taught herself by studying these Polynesian tattoo motifs.

Finally, her husband bought a tattoo machine for her to try. She instantly took to it.   She credits her progress to the encouragement of many, foremost the pioneering Polynesian tattoo researcher and tattoo artist Tricia Allen, tattoo artist Sef Samatua, who is also her husband’s cousin, and Kumu Patrick Makuakane. 

Being a woman in the tattooing industry has had its challenges but with her husband’s support and a welcoming community, Marlo has made a name for herself.

Get in touch with Marlo at