All posts by Maureen Unasa

Maureen Unasa is a contrarian Samoan woman unravelling life, love and culture through the art of Samoan weaving

Inspired to create

Wearing my fine golden mat
Inspired to create

Holding my mouth to stop myself from screaming to my husband and also the fact that is was gaping open like a stunned fool.  I was beside myself.  I could not believe it.  If my teenage daughter were to verbalise my moment right now it would go something like this.

“OMG, like no way, OMG, like seriously friggin awesome, like no way, OMG I can’t wait to tell X & X & X, OMG, OMG,OMG”

All of that would have been exclaimed in 5 seconds flat.  Sounding like one long word with heaps of self expression and hand flailing.  She would walk away and I would have no idea who or what she was going on about.  When she realises she has been talking to herself, she will stop and check in with us.

“OMG, Can you guys believe that?”

“Um No way”, we’ll say.  We know she will then, repeat her story in a language we understand 🙂

Samoan Weaving HQ facebook page had caused my massive teenage OMG moment yesterday morning.

Maryann Talia Pau had liked my page and left me a comment.  In awe like a crazed fan I went into my own world.  Even the voice of, “Mum, I got no socks for school”, was but a distant sound from another plain.

Maryann Talia Pau in the weaving world is like David Beckham to soccer.  The names are synonomous to their respective arts.  (Yes, soccer is an art)  Anything that is practised, perfected and striving towards is ART.  It is beautiful to witness.

Please click HERE to see why I believe she is the bees knees in my weaving world. (Apologies not knowing (yet) how to bring this clip up, right here in todays blog post)

Maryann Talia Pau was the source of my inspiration for looking at weaving the kids school art project.  Her woven pieces really exposed my ignorance of my Samoan culture and Samoa’s precious treasures.  I had no idea how impacted I would be.

Impacted enough to seek knowledge and instruction.

1  Found and emailed Pacific Womens Weaving Circle (PWWC) in Melbourne as the internet search revealed nothing in my vicinity.

2  PWWC connected me with WeAve Parramatta.

3  WeAve Parramatta connected me with Seve Faleupolu Gooding on April 20th 2012.

The rest is history.  Looking back and moving forward.

I acknowledge Maryann Talia Pau for inspiring me, Seve Faleupolu Gooding for instructing me and the amazing “superwomen” network for connecting me.

I am truly grateful for the support and humbled by the generous spirit in which we all share.  The world needs networks that support each other.

Fa’afetai lava.  (Thank You very much)




Elements of a Warrior (Part 1)

Weaving Elements of a Warrior
Strength and Courage Standing Firm and Upright

In the face of adversity a true warrior does not fight.  A warrior does not need to.

A warrior simply stands.

Two feet planted firmly on the ground.
Standing passionately for what they want.


All of the above and more takes an unshakeable STAND of epic proportions.

History is awash with examples.  Ghandi and Martin Luther King prominent in my mind.

I do not know all the intimate details of their lives.  I do know of their unrelenting stand for what they believed in.

“I have a dream” and “Being the change you want to see in the world” is taken on by strong visionaries.  Visionaries who stand firm and stare fear in the face.

The opportunity to enter The Telesa Trilogy Spirit Women Art Competition has provided yet another amazing adventure. The Telesa Trilogy is written by an acclaimed Samoan author Lani Wendt Young.

Weaving ideas for Telesa Art Competition
Honing my inner Telesa spirit to sketch ideas

A mini journey this time with three weeks to create my entry. Enough time for life to throw everything it has at me and my family.

Who are we kidding right? Life throws things at us every single waking moment of our lives. It just seems bigger when I am chasing something I want.

BRING IT LIFE! I give just as good as I get.

Telesa crown (pale) taking form
Honing the idea and natures crown is forming

While the opportunity was still fresh in my blood, I poured it onto paper. I am taking that action on as my PRACTISE. Pouring it all out. I have set up a folder of every single idea I have. I guess I will never have nothing to weave 🙂

Weaving fire and water elements for Telesa Art Competition
Fire and Water forming

A couple of days for the ideas to runneth over until I take one of them and RUN. Yip! It ain’t gonna create itself.

Air element weaving for Telesa Art Competition
The air element weaves the idea of a Tuiga (Samoan head dress)
And so I RUN with it. Weaving firstly the prototypes for fire and water. Experimenting. I am fully aware that the designs I have now will not be what I will end up with. Such is life. I have to actually GO THROUGH the whole process of elimination by experiment to see what will actually work.
Earth element planning for Telesa Art Competition
Even the earth needs a plan.

Moving onto the earth element required a little planning. This part of the process revealed itself through sharing what I have learnt with others.

I promised to do a mini mat series (still editing the last two parts) and began it during this project. Serendipity is great.
While making the mini mat mini series, the “earth” element glimmered at me.
The colours, design and its formation.

And God said, “It was good”.

Join me again for Part 2 of the Elements of a Warrior.