Kalinga tattoo artist Whang-od to receive National Living Treasures Award 

Kalinga tattoo artist Whang-od to receive National Living Treasures Award 

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@MindaNation
Photo by Rhonson Ng

TABUK CITY, Kalinga, September 19, 2016 (PNA) — The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is set to bestow the “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) or the National Living Treasures Award on Whang-od Oggay, the country’s oldest tattoo artist.

Photo by Rhonson Ng
Photo by Rhonson Ng

Ferdinand Isleta, NCCA-Cultural Communities & Traditional Arts Section chief, said they have been finalizing the documents to accompany the records for the award for signing by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The recognition is equivalent to a national artist award.

At 97, Whang-od is considered the oldest traditional “mambabatok” or tattoo artist in the country.

Born in Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Whang-od started tattooing when she was ten years old. She is a Butbut tribe member.

Whang-od uses tattoo ink from a mixture of charcoal and water that will be tapped into the skin through a thorn end of a calamansi or pomelo tree. The ancient and painful technique dates back a thousand years. (PNA)




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