It was quite an eye-opener for me to learn that the ‘Unga (Hermit Crab) actually changes its shell periodically. As it’s size keeps growing, the ‘Unga continues to change it’s shell. I can only imagine how these crabs scout around for the next secure, comfortable dwelling- a place that is literally tailor made to their specifications; and is their very own ‘shell-ter’.

Shell-ter 1

Medium:  Traditional Tongo ink and special soil paint on Tapa surface. Tongo ink is made from the extracted  fluid of Mangrove bark. The special soil used as paint is found only in specific places in the ancient island of Eua and in the past, it was used to wash hair. Tapa – is made by beating the bark of the Tongan Mulberry tree for hours, until thin strips finally flatten and stretch out. These pieces are then joined together firmly to form a canvas like surface.


Painting 1 bought by Vicki and Neil of Australia. Thankyou for little anecdote on your Hermit crabs and we hope you enjoy this painting for a long time! Beach Decor & Shell-ter b patrons



I  can be commissioned to work on specific artworks/ designs/ murals/ logos.