Whang-od Oggay is the oldest living tattoo artist of the ethnolinguistic community known as the Butbut. 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. So unless you’d like to make yourself an easy target in the scope of a M-16 assault rifle, most contemporary warriors don’t even think about taking heads because today’s warfare is long range and chances are that you would fail before you even started. In the Buaya region of northern Kalinga Province, most enemy skulls – minus their jawbones – usually came to rest in the sangasang or village shrine. Then, Whang-Od begins to hand-tap Fanah in her backhanded style. PERPETUALLY SHROUDED IN MIST, the Kalinga village of Buscalan sits high up in the Cordillera Mountains of northern Luzon, Philippines. Fanah’s tattoo consists of three sloping lines: each were said to represent the number of enemies he killed – three. Three-time reigning NBA scoring champion James Harden will play for the virus-hit Houston Rockets when they open the season Saturday at Portland with only one player over the league minimum. After puncturing her heavily veined hand with a centipede (gayaman) design, I made a sipat gesture to remove any taboos associated with inadvertently drawing blood in the village. With a few energetic hops, some high stepping dance moves, and several jabs of his spear, he narrates the battle blow by blow through word and pantomimic action. KALINGA BATOK, THE HEADHUNTER’S SHRINE, AND A MODERN-DAY WARRIOR. ... word quickly spread about Buscalan and the opportunity to get inked by the last mambabatok. Grace has been to Dutdutan twice. Mexican authorities said on Friday they detained four people in connection with a helicopter crash two years ago that killed the governor of the central state of Puebla, Martha Alonso, and her husband, Rafael Moreno Valle, a senator and former governor. Whang-od Oggay , also known as Maria Oggay, is a Filipino tattoo artist from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines. Whang–od, from the Butbut tribe in Kalinga remains single, childless and with a sense of humor one would not expect for the world revered mambabatok, (traditional Kalinga tattooist) as you approach her with reverence, she will stare back at you with her old eyes, slowly warming up to smile breaking the unease of the mystery of her person. 89-year-old Whang-Od never married and dedicated her life to tattooing. Cordillera landscape including sculpted rice terraces and the Chico River. Wanting to learn more about the specifics of the headhunting ceremony myself, I asked several old Kalinga warriors one evening if they could choreograph the scene. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. In Buaya, it is told that the mandadawak accompanied war parties and began most attacks with a high-pitched yell followed by the ceremonial launching of her sacred war spear towards the enemy village. In other Kalinga regions, it was the eldest male leader of a village (pangat) who consulted particular omens to determine if the time was auspicious for a raid. It was truly an amazing sight to witness: all of those pricks, thousands of bloody pricks with a razor sharp needle about one hundred times a minute! Traditionally, these V-shaped markings represented the gayang or eagle: an oracle bird and messenger to the Creator God Kabunian. Of all Kalinga tattoo motifs, centipedes and python scales seem to dominate. An Air Canada Boeing 737-8 MAX flying from Arizona to Montreal with three crew members on board experienced an engine problem that forced it to land in Tucson, the airline said Friday. One of the last Kalinga warriors (mingor) to wear the traditional tattoos of his ancestors is 88-year-old Lakay Miguel (Lakay means “respected elder”). Will it be enough to stop Linda from leaving? The Bontoc people have been traditional enemies of the Kalinga and live just to the south of their territory. Thank you for your feedback. In his finest regalia and bearing those weapons (the shield, lance, and head-ax strapped into his belt) from the recent fight, he lifts his voice and spear and as he acts out his exploits, the gongs grow silent. These foul creatures resembled humans but their bodies were covered with pus and festering, decomposing wounds that smelled of rotten flesh. *Lars Krutak is not a tattoo artist, so please do not contact me for an appointment! The scenic village of Bugnay sits beside the Chico River and is home to Fanah and many tattooed women. Apo Whang-Od is considered the last tattoo artist in the Kalinga region, carrying on the 1,000-year tradition of batok. Elisa and Lukya of Buscalan wear various patterns of snake scales and /\/\/\/\ motifs representing stairs or steps. Performers moved in a circular motion imitating the position and movement of the eagle’s wings as it scanned its hunting grounds far below. She uses pine soot for ink, pomelo torn for a needle, a bamboo stick to hold the needle and a hammering stick. Whang-od Oggay also known as Maria Oggay, is a Filipina tattoo artist from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines. Two long wooden stakes were then slipped across the village gate to block any enemy attempt from entering the settlement, and to keep the souls of the heads and any illnesses associated with them from entering. “Batek: Traditional Tattoos and Identities in Contemporary Kalinga, North Luzon Philippines.” Humanities Diliman 3(1): 105-142. When someone appeared, they were beheaded or simply killed. Pangud learned the craft from the male mambabatoks by watching them. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. As more and more villagers migrate to towns and cities in search of jobs and college educations, many Kalinga have become dislocated from their ancestral traditions while others remain firmly rooted to them. She told me that the centipede (gayaman) tattoo is a powerful spiritual guide that will protect me wherever I may go. France recorded its first case of the new variant of coronavirus, as the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 mounted in the country, increasing concerns of a new wave of the virus hitting the euro zone's second-biggest economy. The spirits of the village shrine who cause these illnesses are Tayadan (Shiver), assisted by watchmen named Pakkuyan (Shout), Payudan (Sentinel), and Takang (Gaping Mouth).”. The spirits expect Fanah to act bravely. Courtesy of Ben Neild. I was told that these three lines not only represented the number of enemies killed, but that they also symbolized the outstretched wings of the gayang or eagle which is the Lord of Birds and messenger to the Kalinga Creator god Kabunian. The usual intricate designs of Kalinga tattoos are centipede (ginay-gayaman), python (chila or urog) and honeycomb (ufog), which can mean either fertility, long life, protection, and a relationship to their ancestors and spiritual world. Here’s how to change the look of your rental property, without affecting your bond. Of course, headhunts were sometimes called for to fulfill the urge to kill or cure the apparent insanity brought about by sangasang affliction. The Gunners have lost five of those seven games and are languishing in 15th place, and they were also dumped out of the League Cup by Manchester City in a 4-1 home loss on Tuesday. Many women said that their skin didn’t wrinkle if fortified with these designs. Once safely inside the village gate, excitement and shouts of joy greeted the warriors. Before you reach for that wine glass, you might want to read this, Emma Thompson was characteristically frank about Hollywood's double standard during a recent interview with the CultureBlast podcast. When the physical signals in nature and the forecast of the ichaw were favorable, all able-bodied men prepared for battle. Tattoo Technique & M ambabatok Meanings. I was told by one man who wears similar motifs on his abdomen that the horn-like projections branching outwards from the navel symbolize the horns of the carabao and were reserved for “war-leaders.” Of course, amongst all of the many Kalinga men I have interviewed over the course of two research trips I have never heard comparable information, but then again my informant was the only man marked in this way. Fagki wears these marks but she also suffers from the affliction. [CDATA[ (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-43272813-1', 'larskrutak.com'); ga('send', 'pageview'); // ]]> 89-year-old Whang-Od never married and dedicated her life to tattooing. Women not only receive tattoos for fertility, but also for beauty, and some women can receive additional marks if their male relatives received some for success in war. Instead of looking for a new husband, she dedicated her life to tattooing and now sixty-four years later she is the last  practitioner of an art form that many scholars believe is nearly one thousand years old. ... Whang-Od, 98, is often described as the last mambabatok. In the small village of Buscalan in Kalinga province, 92-year-old Maria "Pangud" Oggay has been practicing the traditional art of tattooing for almost 77 years now. There are also other traditional tattoo artists found in Kalinga, some are even residing in Tabuk City. In this rite, the mandadawak petitioned the sangasang spirits with gifts of wine, betel nuts, and cloth to bestow long life on the warriors. ... opportunity to get inked by the last mambabatok. Every design she … Whang-Od is the oldest living mambabatok or traditional tattoo artist, and until recently, the only one left in Kalinga. The 103-year-old Filipino tattoo artist is keeping an ancient art alive. Two or three men kept watch near an enemy village and waited in the shadows for a victim. Although decades of missionization, colonial administration, and modernization have gradually led to the abandonment of Kalinga batok, enduring fragments of this rich tradition of body art continue to be worn by Kalinga elders: including the last generation of headhunting warriors whose numbers have perhaps dwindled to some thirty men. Both creatures were considered “friends of the warriors” (bulon ti mangayaw) and are believed to be earthly messengers of the most powerful Kalinga deity Kabunian – the Creator of all things. In many villages, headhunts were also organized and undertaken on the advice of a mandadawak who began her prognosticating with a blood sacrifice of a chicken or other animal to divine how each member of a war party would fare. If the battle was lopsided and the village was vanquished, it was often burnt to the ground. 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The Spanish never stationed a garrison in their lands and during the American regime Kalinga Province retained semi-autonomous status because it was governed by a team of American administrators in concert with influential Kalinga men. He would bear visual proof of his martial exploits in the form of an indelible tattoo that would confer to him special privileges and lifelong respect from other members living in his community. After having obtained the first five tattoos, he could have any or all the rest without any further ‘killings’: (1) wounder of the living enemy, gimaiyang; (2) giver of the coup de grace, manela; (3) taker of the lower jaw – it is taken before the head is severed – sam­a; (4) taker of the head, maniwat; (5) wounder of the torso, dumangin.”. After fifteen minutes, Whang-Od motioned that she was ready to begin the second phase of tattooing. Sadly however, Whang-Od’s generation may be the last to wear these indelible symbols so closely tied to nature, Kalinga identity, and the ancestral past. The most authentic traditional ‘mambabatok’ artist in the world, a Catherine Lefebvre story W hang-od Oggay is the last traditional tattoo artist from the old Kalinga generation. She told me her father used a different tool called a kisi which was a water buffalo horn bent by fire that held four razor sharp orange or lemon needles at its base. Some elders stated that these markings were placed on girls who struck (with family weapons) those human heads that were brought into the village. The tapping sound is called tek-tek, which means to hit slowly, hence forming the word batek. Or they placed these devices in dead-falls to slow down their pursuing attackers. And like the marauding headhunters who once roamed the mountains and forests of Kalinga only a century ago, these elders are the last vestiges of an era that will soon fade away into memory; but one that will always remain in story, song, and above all spirit. Read on for more about Whang Od, the Kalingas, and this fast-disappearing tradition of hand-tapped body art. She also performed an erotic dance with the headhunters, and sang songs boasting about how they enjoy more sexual pleasure than any other men in the community. After the base layer is completed, everyone takes a brief rest and then Whang-Od adds more ink to the wounds with her stencil so that the second layer can be applied. Singing a few melodies along the way, she takes care to not miss a step and slowly, and very methodically, she plods her way up the staircase that seems to have no end. Kalinga Tattoo: Ancient and Contemporary Expressions of the Tribal. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 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