", There's a perfect beach for every week of the year. The handmade ink is tapped deep into the skin using the … A book will be written about Whang Od by someone from UP; She will get some government recognition other than the Dangal ng Haraya. To read more about our cookie policy, The Deserving: Whang-od and Nora Aunor – FIESTA: Lucban Quezon's Pahiyas Festival, https://thevalemagazine.com/2019/08/20/whang-od-tattoo-artist-philippines/. "Back then they would say: 'Go get a tattoo so you would look beautiful,' " recalls Whang Od of her teenage years, when friends covered her arms and legs in tattoo sleeves. Historically in the Philippines, the practice of hand-tapped body art began with the indigenous Butbut warriors. These cookies do not store any personal information. Legendary tattoo master Whang-Od was transported from her tribal village of Buscalan to the capital for the Manila FAME trade show, with the help of the Philippine Army and Air Force. Your email address will not be published. Join us on a 12-month journey to see them all. The Kalinga are a mountainous tribe living in the autonomous Cordillera region, in the Philippines, famous for their headhunting warriors. These figures symbolize long-life, abundance, and peace. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. "I like it when tourists and visitors come here because it helps us out [financially]," says Whang Od. For women, though, it was the opposite. A kisi or tattooing tool … Apo Whang-Od is almost synonymous to the traditional Kalinga tattoo art, being … She is often … Whang-Od. "I hope visitors keep coming.". Besides Apo Whang-Od, some Filipinos in this contemporary time strive to revive ancient tattoo traditions. "I don't eat canned goods, foods with oil, foods with preservatives," Whang Od says. The tattoo tools themselves are made from a instrument constructed in bamboo and razor sharp lemon thorns. During that day and age, only men were allowed to learn how to tattoo. They use pomelo or calamansi thorns as needles, and a charcoal mixed with water as the ink. Whang-od Oggay (who also goes by Whang-od or Maria Oggay) is the Philippines’ last and oldest “ mambabatok” (traditional Kalinga tattooist). For her hand-tapping tools, she uses a lemon thorn needle or siit that is attached to the end of a small bamboo stick … Tap by tap, she uses the thorn and bamboo stick to push ink deep into the skin, drawing blood. waves, spirals, etc.) The 102-year-old artist applies permanent hand-tapped tattoos (a concoction made from pine soot and water) with a few simple tools: a bamboo stick, a thorn from the pomelo tree, water and coal. What is also intriguing is that 102 year old Whang-Od seems to be one of the last tattoo … Samoan tattoo designs are inspired by sea artifacts like turtles, sea shells, fishes, etc. Machine tattoo artists start to tattoo patterns found in Buscalan. "As long as I can see well, I will keep giving tattoos. Receiving a tattoo from Whang-Od. Required fields are marked *. Image from ©Jake Verzosa's "The Last Tattooed Women of Kalinga" Apo Whang-od, Philippines. Her culture believes that the “mambabatok” can only be passed down to blood relatives – otherwise, the tattoos will become “infected.” Though Whang-od does not have children of her own, she has made sure to pass the practice down to her grandnieces. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Whang-Od belongs to a generation of people from the Philippines’ Buscalan community, who are probably the only few people left with elaborate inked designs on their body. Whang Od’s tattoos are made with simple tools: a small wooden mallet, and bamboo stick, adorned with a freshly picked and chosen citrus thorn (from a pomelo or calamansi plant). And she has not stopped since then. A few will attempt to hand-tap using the souvenir tools. Press Esc to cancel. Surrounded by lush rice terraces and undulating landscape, the mountain village of Buscalan is home to just 200 or so households. The Vale Magazine. Whang Od is 92 years old and she is the last Kalinga tattoo maker, according to specialists this practice is about a thousand years old and was used as a skin natural language transmitted from … Around that time, she also began practicing tattooing. Patience is a virtue. Tattoo Culture: Revival. Even though the art is in good hands, the centenarian doesn't plan to go anywhere anytime soon. The art can only be passed down to blood relatives, following the belief that the tattoos will become infected otherwise. The artist is often as fascinating as the art. Though tattooing evolved independently throughout various countries, it holds a similar meaning for each culture: the art of story-telling through keeping an ancient tradition alive. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Before she tattooing her guests, Whang-Od’s begins by removing her tattooing tools, which includes a bamboo stick, orange thorn needle, a short stick, and a coconut mixing bowl. Apo Whang Od’s Signature and Other Buscalan Tattoo Artists. 8. After coffee, Whang Od tells us to go with her to the upper side of the village. are also popular as well as images that show valor and femininity. ... World renowned Apo Whang-Od is the last practicing traditional mambabatok or tattoo … The Last Kalinga tattooist Whang-Od stenciling a new tattoo design on Elaine Tima with her kisi in a dark back room at the Batok Festival. Elaine’s father Rufino is a noted Kalinga anthropologist. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Whang-Od inks multiple tattoos a day using a few tools-a thorn from a pomelo tree, a foot-long bamboo stick, coal and water. It rests in the Kalinga province of the, Yet thousands of tourists come here every year to meet Whang Od Oggay, the Philippines' oldest, "The tradition will continue as long as people keep coming to get tattoos," Whang Od tells CNN Travel. Whang Od follows a millenniums-old technique, using just a few tools: a thorn from a pomelo tree, a foot-long bamboo stick, coal scraped off a pot, and water. Some individuals who are part of the Filipino Martial Arts group (FMA) incorporate tattoos … As Whang Od prepares her tools… She is particularly famous among tourists, who make the long 15-hour journey to visit her in the mountain village of Buscalan in the Kalinga province north of the Philippine capital of Manila. With this simple technique, Whang Od creates meaningful geometric designs -- but not without the pain commonly associated with modern tattoos. At 102 years old, Whang-Od Oggay (also known as Whang-od or Maria Oggay) is the Philippines' oldest mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist), and until recently, the last. Whang-od Oggay is the oldest living tattoo artist of the … Traditionally, the hand-tapped tattoos were earned by indigenous Butbut warriors. But now that the warriors have died out, the hand-tapped tattoos are open to anyone -- and Whang Od sees a steady stream of international clients, etching about eight tattoos a day. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. The tattoo tools themselves are made from an instrument constructed in bamboo and razor-sharp lemon thorns. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. "[My friends who gave tattoos] have all passed away," says Whang Od. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. And for women? 102-Year-Old Tattooist Whang-Od Keeps Kalinga Tradition Alive. With intense concentration, she paints a design on the skin using the homemade coal-water ink. Photo by Don Lejano/INQUIRER.net Everybody knows her as the last “mambabatok” or traditional tattoo artist of the … But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. The last mambabatok of the Kalinga people, Whang Od Oggay is over a hundred years old, and is a living breathing tattoo legend. Her secret to living to 100? However, please also understand that having the traditional tattoo… Each symbol -- ranging from lines to circles, animals and tribal prints -- carries a deeper meaning. … I'll stop once my vision gets blurry.". Whang-od is training two of her blood relatives, Grace Pelicas and Ilyang Wigan, to be manwhatok.The tradition carries on in Kalinga. After cleaning the chosen tattoo … They regarded tattoos as a practice of beauty. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Waiting for the most coveted batok from Apo Whang-od can really test your patience especially if you only have one or two days to spare. In the beginning, only men could ink themselves after killing someone. According to Great Big Story, Whang-Od uses a traditional process where she taps pomelo tree thorns dipped in charcoal water with a coffee tree hammer into the skin and leaves a permanent … https://thevalemagazine.com/2019/08/20/whang-od-tattoo-artist-philippines/ […], Your email address will not be published. But I'm not afraid that the tradition will end because [I'm training] the next tattoos masters.". Whang-od remembers how she learned to apply these tattoos as her friends covered her arms and legs in simple patterns and designs. A practitioner named Piper of Atawu Tattoo … Apo Whang-od, the last “mambabatok,” uses lemon thorns and charcoal ink in tattooing. Arvin Manuel R. Villalon, professor … It’s much quieter there and the seeming isolation is perfect for our tattooing session. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The design is marked onto the skin using long strips of straight grass, … Some elements of nature like the sun and ocean (e.g. Using the bamboo stick, she gently taps the ink-laden thorn deep into the skin. Historically in the Philippines, the practice of hand-tapped body art began with the indigenous, Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window). The process of getting a hand-tapped Kalinga tattoo involves very simple tools: the thorn of a pomelo tree; soot from Whang Od’s kitchen fire, mixed with water; and two bamboo instruments – one for … Keeping the art alive is more complicated than it seems. The pattern was drawn on my skin using the … The 102-year-old artist applies permanent hand-tapped tattoos (a concoction made from pine soot and water) with a few simple tools: a bamboo stick, a thorn from the pomelo tree, water and coal. The pagbabatok (tattooing) session starts with the outlining. Whang-Od inks multiple tattoos a day using a few tools—a thorn from a pomelo tree, a foot-long bamboo stick, coal, and water. This site uses cookies to give you the best possible experience. Whang-od Oggay, a 102-year-old woman from a mountain tribe in the Philippines, is a living instrument in the continuity of pambabatok, an endangered ancient tattooing technique that chiefly constitutes hand-tapping to create figures on the skin.Believed to be the oldest tattoo … Whang Od, who belong to the Kalinga subgroup Butbut, received her own tattoo in her early teens. "Everyone knew when one of the warriors has killed someone because he would announce it to everyone.". Ancient Tattoo Tools and Techniques. This great tattoo artist was born in Taiwan, but lives and works in Alhambra (California) where he has opened his own shop My Tattoo. "I'm the only one left alive that's still giving tattoos. Though she doesn't have children of her own, Whang Od has been training her grandnieces Elyang Wigan and Grace Palicas for several years. The ink is prepared with … She's been performing the ancient art of hand-tapped tattoos … Whang-Od gathered her tools and two tiny stools and asked me to position myself. The artist uses natural tools like a bamboo stick, pomelo tree thorn, water and coal for the tattoos. Afterwards, she gets soot from her fireplace which she mixes with water to create ink inside … We just had the Whang Od ink her signature by the morning. "Once they've killed someone, they are eligible for a tattoo," explains Whang Od. Whang Od follows a millenniums-old technique, using just a few tools: a thorn from a pomelo tree, a foot-long bamboo stick, coal scraped off a pot, and water. She defied gender norms as she began her tattoo apprenticeship under her father at the young age of 15. Whang-od Oggay (First name pronunciation: [ˈɸɐŋˈʔɘd]; [check IPA] born February 17, 1917), also known as Maria Oggay, is a Filipino tattoo artist from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines. The design is marked onto the skin using long strips of straight grass, dipped in simple a mixture of charcoal and water. Keeping the tattooing tradition active will be a difficult task for Whang-od. Whang-od Oggay (who also goes by Whang-od or Maria Oggay) is the Philippines’ last and oldest “mambabatok” (traditional Kalinga tattooist). Some designs represent the mountains or the sun, others fertility and strength. Begin typing your search above and press return to search. After some final discussions about my tattoo, she began doing her magic. In rare occasions, you may also see "Marquesan cross" in a Samoan tattoo design, which is the local's way of representing the balance among all natural ele… Whang-od is called a mambabatok, derived from the root word batok that means “to hit”. 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