Tongan tapa artisan and handicrafter-Tongan cultural adviser
As a longtime artisan of the Polynesian Cultural Center, Melenaite has had years of first-hand experience in the making of Tongan ngatu, or tapa as it is known in English. On a daily basis she demonstrated and lectured about the art. She knows the process from beginning to end and has a knack for the distinctly Tongan motifs used in each design. She knows and understands the meanings of each creation.
In addition to the mastering of the ngatu, she is a frequent teacher of the Tongan arts including making Tongan leis made of pandanus fruit, hau, flowers and leaves, woven taovala, a cultural ambassador of Tongan arts and teacher of the Tongan language.