Mar 22, 2016 - Reviving the rich culture and traditional hand tapped tattoo of Kalinga. Perhaps it’s a form of tokenism or commercialism, but Apo Whang-Od’s choice to continue tattooing has helped preserve the thousand-years-old art. Lasoy, 84,  did not mince her words when replying to my first question, “What does it mean to be from the Kalinga tribe?”. Whang Od is a Filipina tattoo artist who is believed to be 102 years old and has been tattooing since she was 15. Millennials and foreigners alike remain mystified about it. He is fortified in a tattooed skin of centipede scales (ufug). From right to left: Dominica Gunnawa, Me, Theresa “Lasoy” Gunnawa and Dionica Alyssa Legasi in Tabok city, Kalinga Province, North Luzon, Philippines. This post may contain affiliate links. Pulag: Beginner and First-timer Tips on Difficulty, Weather, & Location, Ridges and Clouds Nature Camp: Tanay, Rizal Price Rates, ArtSector Gallery & Chimney Café 360º: Binangonan, Rizal Review & Menu, Kalinga Tattoo Meanings: Buscalan Travel Guide to Apo Whang-Od, Treasure Mountain: Tanay Attraction Day Trip Review, Rates, and Blog, Rizal Resorts, Spa, & Hotels: 12 Best Antipolo, Taytay Swimming Pools, Palawan Travel Guide: traveling to Puerto Princesa, Coron, & El Nido. Covid-19 Travel: Caring for yourself & others. Like Marcus Garvey say “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Ethnic Pride : Wear your identity©. Learn more about how my travel and personal stories by subscribing below :), © 2015 FOLLOWYOUROAD | All rights reserved, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Masungi Georeserve: What to Look Forward to, Mt. No matter how careful you are, the unfortunate can still happen. In general Christianity and commercial careers frown upon tattoos and adornments, making it difficult to earn a living and express your identity creatively. Sign me up! Why booking a creative vacation so be ticked off your bucket list! The following illustrations are from the Headhuntr page. Unlike modern day tattoos that only have a personal connection with the wearer, the Kalinga tattoos have important social and cultural connotations. Elaborate Bontoc Igorot tattoo, ca. All Rights Reserved. Subscribe here and never miss a post from my fashionable adventures around the world. Hi Dyesa! She is often described as the "last" and oldest mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) and is part of the Butbut people of the larger Kalinga ethnic group. I’ve been looking for traditional Philippine cultures and customs, so it’s great to find where it still exists (for now…). Tattoo patterns are withered with time on Lasoy’s hands, Lasoy sits proudly displaying her tribal tattoos and heirloom beaded necklace, The tattoos on Lasoy’s arms were the first she received at age 13. There are no shortcuts or direct flights here, so there’s really no other choice. Some placement of the designs on women display their social status, such as in Lasoy’s case being the eldest daughter, but generally speaking, singular female tattoos are not known to have important cultural context. Photobook Philippines Review: App, Website, & Voucher Codes. Tattoos signify acceptance, a sense of belonging, and identity. I’m a tattoo artist in Hawaii and tattoo our local Filipino population with many of the old tattoo patterns of Northern Luzon. At more than 100 years old, she still wields a strong hand for her craft. Whatok is the Kalinga term for the traditional tattoos, or inscriptions found on their skin. Their Kalinga tattoo patterns are clean, and their touch is light. It is recommended to read the book “Filipino Tattoos: Ancient to Modern” by Lane Wilcken. Whang-od Oggay has seen some changes in her time. Ethnic Pride : Wear your identity© 6 Benefits of going on a women’s only tour, How To Haggle Ethically For Arts & Crafts, 11 Simple Tips On How To Be A Responsible Traveller, Guatemala: Weaving, Embroidery & Community Tour 2021, Welcome to Guatemala – What you need to know before and during your tour with us, Mexico: Frida, Fabrics & Folk Art Tour 2021, WELCOME TO MEXICO – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE AND DURING YOUR TOUR WITH US, WELCOME TO THAILAND – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE AND DURING YOUR TOUR WITH US, Vietnam: Creative Cultures Textile Tour 2021, Welcome to Vietnam – What you need to know before and during your tour with us. But you can still get a traditional Kalinga tattoo - right here at Pinto Art Museum, Antipolo, in a simple to do day trip. I love sewing, travelling and anthropology, so I was thrilled to discover that you combine the three so perfectly! Sometimes, tourists have their Kalinga tattoos done by another mambabatok and have Apo Whang Od put her signature. What once was beautiful is now considered too bold, and therefore can hinder one’s chances of change from rural life. Some of these Kalinga tattoo patterns are linear or circular. We bathed in cold water and slept on floor mattresses, a welcome opportunity to rest. Irresponsible tourism is the culprit in accelerating the destruction of Buscalan. Of course, those Kalinga men who possessed tattoos played a significant role in their communities. Then thorn tip is submerged in the charcoal solution before rigorously hand tapping the piercing point into the design on the skin. Don’t even think about leaving home without travel insurance. If you're new to the blog, you can start here. Today Kalinga tattoo art is popular with tourists but scarcely adorns authentic skin. Click here to get a quote! She is often described as the “last” and oldest mambabatok(traditional Kalinga tattooist) and is part of the Butbut people of … skin communicated your social status to the local community. Is a Haute Culture Textile Tour right for you? creative heritage textile techniques from indigenous artisans. Love your writings of your travels and experiences in the Philippines. However, many do not know that there are many other tribes in the region who also practice such tattooing. I’m glad to find your blog! Traditional Tattoos | © David Stanley /Flickr Kalinga body art and tattoos have a long, rich history, that inextricably ties it to the life and culture of the indigenous community. Check out their merchandise: If you have any questions, send me a PM on Facebook. A mambabatok often displays a wooden plank of Kalinga tattoo designs for visitors to choose from. Most native people have left their small mountain villages only to encounter that the traditional beauty and pride practices of their tribe are met with prejudice on the low lands. W hang-od Oggay is the last traditional tattoo artist from the old Kalinga generation. Hello! Although tribal wars and blood feuds still exist, they are less common. But there were no regrets. Keep this tradition alive, because traditional way of tattooing is slowly fading in many parts of the Philippines. Hi, I'm Sam! When it comes to deciphering Kalinga tattoo meanings, it can be quite confusing as the tattoo artists themselves have adopted English and easily understandable names for each design. Many say that she is the last mambabatok in the Philippines, though there are many tattoo artists not from her bloodline that are emerging. Many may mention Apo Whang-Od from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga as Northern Luzon's tattooing expert. You can buy your bus ticket to Bontoc here! She learnt this difficult art from her father, when she was 25-years old girl and then she decided to dedicate her life to the old art of tattooing believed to be almost one thousand years old. Whang-od Oggay , also known as Maria Oggay, is a Filipino tattoo artist from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines. Off camera Lasoy reminisced about the headhunting days. Though not the direct bloodline of tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od, I recommend them for first-timers like me. The commercialism was a bit disappointing, but I guess that’s how it goes for popular tourist spots. Their names are Rhenalyn and Rhea. See more ideas about Tattoos, Filipino tattoos, Traditional tattoo. Mambabatok means tattoo artist in Kalingan. We never planned on getting a Kalinga tattoo. Problem is she is totally exploited now, and that is not nice. Wontedly it was teenage Kalinga girls like Lasoy who were expected to have tattoos as a symbol of their strength, coming of age and beauty. If you click on a link, we earn a little money at no extra cost to you. It was past nightfall once we got to our homestay, after seeing so many black pigs and children along the narrow paths. Getting a Buscalan tattoo from Apo Whang-Od? Daughters of the kadangyan(the rich) members of the community are obliged to have their tattoos when they reach puberty. Whang-od Oggay is the last traditional tattoo artist from the old Kalinga generation. At 92 years old, time is running out for her to pass on the time-honoured hand tapping technique and tribal motifs to her 13-year-old granddaughter and apprentice. Two things I want to be when I’m older: to be wrinkled and inked. But luckily there will be young people and tattoo fans of new generations trying to preserve and renew the traditional Kalinga tattoo designs. Due to the long lines and the handful of tourists daily, Apo Whang-Od rarely does full-on Kalinga tattoos, let alone chant or do fortune-telling. uscalan village to have the last living legend of Philippino artistry scar their skin. This internationally acclaimed tattooist has single-handedly ensured the survival of her generation’s art for the next. Find the best travel guides and prices with Lonely Planet! salamat po. The point is something can be done to save this rare and beautiful ethnic art form, but where and how needs to happen now because it is not yet too late. Did you enjoy this article? Rhea and Rhenalyn even offered curved designs of “faith, hope, love” which I think is hardly tribal (it comes with a heart shape!). I don’t condone the actions Lasoy’s mother took by forcing her to have tattoos, but when a national dying art is literally on its last legs before extinction, it is hard for me to understand why a revival of the traditional tattooing has not taken off in Kalinga Province? I discovered your blog yesterday and think it’s brilliant. This was a much-awaited trip that gave us more than inks on our skins. The fern tattoo is pretty popular with the ladies. She is the last and oldest mambabatok, which means a traditional tattoo artist from Kalinga. Kalinga tattoos are inspired by objects seen in daily life, such as rice terraces, ladders and centipedes. We descended into a nipa hut where two lady mambabatoks were at. We recommend World Nomads. I requested to have my tattoo at my left inner arm. The “prayer” design wasn’t too intricate so it took me only around 30-minutes to finish. Welcome to … Information Packs on each destination. into the homes and hearts of local communities. 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