Storm in the Suluape ink
Two "Suluape ink" brands have raised a controversy. One was launched by Alaiva'a Suluape and one by his brother Petelo. As some tattoo artists got confused and a few asked me what's going on, here is how each side sees the issue.
The "Suluape Black" ink is produced by Intenze. Mario Barth (boss of Intenze) got permission to use the Suluape name from Alaiva'a Suluape who lives and tattoos in Samoa. This ink produced in the States is already for sale by Intenze.
A few days ago, Tomazi Suluape (the adopted son of Petelo Suluape) announced that the "Original Suluape Ink" would be soon available for sale. This other ink is produced in Germany and is endorsed by Petelo Suluape who lives and tattoos in Australia.
So the two Suluape inks are different.
Alaiva'a published an announcement on FB, on June 8, through his daughter-in-law Tasha saying
"The only Original and Official Tatau Ink endorsed by Su'a Suluape Alaiva'a is SULUAPE BLACK produced by Mario Barth and Intenze Ink in the United States of America. All other tatau ink on the market with the Suluape family name have been produced under false pretence and will be accorded legal action." He added "please be advised that TOMASI SULUAPE of Germany is NOT recognized as a member of the Suluape Family by the Head (Sa'o) and therefore does NOT have
any authority to act on behalf of or represent the Suluape Family in any way, shape or form."
Petelo replied on FB, on June 10, that he has created his own ink brand. He said, "I have already adpoted Tomasi Suluape into the family and with the ink I had gone to Germany to created my own ORIGINAL SULUAPE INK."
Mario Barth is probably upset about seeing a rival Suluape ink but I don't see why Petelo couldn't
have his own Suluape ink. Is Mario going to sue Petelo for using his own name, as Alaiva'a warned ?
We will find out soon enough...
P.S. To make things even more confusing, on Intenze ink site there is a quote from "Petelo Suluape" who seems to be supporting the Suluape Black from Intenze. In fact the confusion comes from the fact that Alaiva'a Suluape is also often called Petelo, like his brother !