FEMALE TATTOO ARTIST: GRANDMASTER WHANG-OD

Tattoo Hunter Dr. Lars Krutak visits the remote Philippine Cordillera Mountains to learn about Kalinga tattooing culture from the last tribal tattoo tattooist Whang-Od. It’s an inspiring video which shows you the power of tattoo culture, while providing a glimpse into the one of the oldest – and most legendary – tribal female tattoo artists in the world.

 

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Miguel is a WWII veteran who earned most of his tattoos combating Japanese forces. He is worried that future generations of Kalinga youth will perhaps forget what the tattooing culture of his people represents once he’s gone. “First the missionaries came, then the school teachers and then people in the towns began discriminating against those men and women who wore tattoos. Now we have no more tattooists and our custom of tattooing will disappear when my generation dies.” Batok cover his back and chest and the khaman or head-axe design adorns his side. Kalinga warriors also wore tally marks behind their ears or beneath their armpits that for some men represented the number of enemy engagements.

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