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    Posted August 8, 2012 by

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    Kalinga tattoo experience


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     went to Bancalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga to meet the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines for my episode about tattooing at the daily talkshow where I currently employed. It took us 15 hours landtrip from Manila and an hour trekking the mountains of Tinglayan just to see Whang-Od, the oldest tattoo artist in Kalinga and probably in the Philippines. She was the only living tattoo artist and she was in her 90s. She was already featured at NatGeo's Tattoo hunter program. She was in her old age but she does the tattooing perfectly. Her eyes are still sharp that she can draw a line and pierce my skin with the help of torn from a tree brilliantly. She knows where to put pressure so that I can feel less pain. She tattooed me manually using a tree torn attached from the wood and she hammers it to my skin as if she was sewing my skin so that the charcoal ink can penetrate my skin and give color abd design. Her technique is the ancient way of tattoo in the Philippines. Before the Spanish came to Christianize the Filipinos tattoo art is already existing. Women put tattoo to add beauty. According to Mrs. Natividad Sugguiyao Director of National Commission for Indegenous People ( NCIP), women with tattoo in the village are more attractive, has more appeal and they are the only one who can walk in the main streets of their village. Women without tattoo are outcasts. On the other hand, men have to earn their tattoo. They should have won a war I > or kill an enemy for them to have tattoo. According also to her, tattoo is a dead art of Kalinga when the Spanush came and ban tattoo because they warn the natives that tattoo is a pagan ritual.

    My first tattoo done in traditional and painful way.
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