City Gallery City Gallery Wellington

Past exhibition

Lindah Lepou: Aitu (Homage to Spirit)

20 October–9 December 2012

Pacific couture designer Lindah Lepou pays tribute to three legendary Samoan aitu (ghosts, spirits)—Nafanua, Taema, and Telesa. Lepou says Christianity has tainted them, casting them as servants of the devil. But, as a young fa’afafine growing up in Samoa, Lepou saw them as role models—symbols of strength and identity who could be called upon for support. The show includes Lepou garments, and photos of models wearing Lepou garments in the Samoan villages where the aitu are believed to dwell. The photos were shot by fashion photographer George Buckleton. The show offers an opportunity to reconsider the nature of aitu and the role of women in Samoan history.