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Q - aka Sulu'ape Akiu "Q" Sale

Posted by NĀ KOA

Q - Sulu'ape Akiu "Q" Sale

Akiu "Q" Sale is known everywhere as Q (that's how his first name sounds when you drop the A)  He is both a true artist as well as an entrepreneur at heart.  He's also a perfectionist, who even makes his own tattoo machines because nothing else will do.  
Born in Hawaii, Q grew up in American Samoa in a family of artists on his father's side. On his mother's side, he is related to the Sulu'ape family (Sua Sulu'ape Alaiva'a Petelo calls him his nephew, and Q considers "the old man" his biggest artistic influence).
Always an entrepreneur, Q opened the first tattoo shop in American Samoa, offering an alternative to the traditional tatau that Samoans were familiar with. He returned to Oahu in 1998 where he was one of a tiny group of tattoo artists who worked with Polynesian motifs well before the renaissance of Hawaiian and Pacific islander culture made polynesian tattoo style first popular in the islands and and then into a huge worldwide trend.
Q and his art have been featured in a number of books, including Tricia Allen's seminalThe Polynesian Tattoo Today, the cult-series Frank 151 Chapter 35: Samoa,  and Sean Mallon's and Sebastien Galliot's amazing work TATAU. A history of Samoan Tattooing. He was elevated to Sulu'ape in November 2019 in Samoa. 
Akiu Sale Suluape ceremony