Lakiloko Keakea

Lakiloko Keakea
Date of birth
Place of birth
“Lakiloko Keakea is an artist of mea taulima, things created with her hands. She was born on the island of Nui, Tuvalu, in 1948, moved to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1996, and now lives in Ranui, West Auckland. In 1957 she moved to Niutao and it was here that she started learning how to make art. She first created a belt and later learnt to make baskets, fans and trays. In 1971 Keakea moved to Kiribati with her first husband and became involved in a church-based women’s group that practised kolose or crochet. Keakea did kolose, crocheted dresses and made tiputa (crochet tops). After moving back to Tuvalu Keakea joined a women’s arts group called Fakapotopotoga Fafine Tuvalu. The group included women from all the different island groups in Tuvalu. Each woman shared knowledge and expertise of the art practices distinct to their island. In the 1970s three women from the group travelled to the Marshall Islands and brought back the star-shaped design and techniques used in making fafetu. In Aotearoa New Zealand Keakea continues to make art in her own home. The last time she made a fafetu, which she gifted to someone, was in 2007. Keakea spends most of her time now working on kolose.”
Kolokesa Māhina-Tuai, 2012