Lakiloko Keakea


Fafetu by Lakiloko Keakea

Artwork Detail

This fafetu wall hanging is made from synthetic ribbon, cloth ribbon, wool and plastic cargo ties. The skeleton of the work consists of plastic cargo ties which are wrapped in a range of different coloured ribbon and plastic. The spaces are decorated with a variety of patterns in wool of different colours using the technique of tio, a type of crochet work, and lalanga, weaving using a needle. This is the first time that Lakiloko Keakea has made a fafetu of this size.

The artist first learned to make fafetu and other Tuvaluan artworks back home in 1977 when she joined a women’s arts group called Fakapotopotoga Fafine Tuvalu. Women from Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands traded and shared ideas; the star-shaped design and techniques used in making fafetu were influenced by Marshall Island women’s practices. Despite this, Keakea explains that for herself ‘Te fafetu te iloga o Tuvalu’ – ‘The fafetu is a symbol of Tuvalu.’

Lakiloko Keakea
Production date
synthetic ribbon, cloth ribbon, wool, plastic cargo ties
1150 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, commissioned 2012
Accession no
Other ID
X2012/24/3 Old Accession Number
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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