Collection: Adornment and Identity

"Batok" or the art of tattooing the body with tribal designs is an ancient Filipino practice seen in Buscalan, Kalinga, Philippines. It is an archaic procedure that includes citrus thorns, charcoal and bamboo. Charcoal and water are mixed together to make the tattoo ink, It is then wiped onto the thorn and hand tapped into the skin using a 12-inch bamboo hammer. 

Kalinga-Filipino tattoos symbolizes unity and belonging to a tribe. Women gets tattoos to enhance beauty considering it as an aesthetic accessory. Men earn their tattoos after heroic feats as a mark their victory, bravery or strength. 

The ancient tradition kept alive by Whang Od, now 102 years old, that dedicated her life to practice “batok.” 

 

Pen and ink (original) | Digital 

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