Rodney “Ni” Powell was born in Fiji and is of Tongan, Fijian, and Samoan descent. He has a Masters degree in Social Work. Ni began tattooing in 1998 after being mentored by renowned tattooists Tricia Allen and Suʻa Suluʻape ʻAisea Toetuʻu.  Ni also credits Suʻa Suluʻape ʻAlaivaʻa for his knowledge of ancient Samoan tatau traditions. In 2010, he began his traditional tattooing apprenticeship under Suluʻape ʻAisea. His passion for tattooing and Pacific Island art has led him throughout the Pacific from Samoa to Tahiti, to Easter Island, the Marquesas and Palau. Currently, Ni is collaborating with several Tongan experts and renowned tattooists on formulating his work into a comprehensive book on Tongan tattoo traditions. He lives in Hawaiʻi. You can check out his blog on Tongan tattooing at and read more about Tongan tattooing at his site.