The Art of Tattooing in Kalinga

January 30, 2013 1:00am CST
Part of my bucket list is to see all the other rice terraces in the Cordilleras. This feat or dream will require some time and preparing for (physically) since a lot of the villages can only be reached through make shift hanging bridges and trekking through the worn mountain paths made by our ancestors, the Ifugaos. One of my reasons for wanting to go there, especially in the province of Kalinga, is to see the remaining tattooed women and the last living tattoo artist of that tribe. Tattoos differ from one culture to another, and what they mean. For the Kalinga tribe, tattoos were worn by warriors who have slain and taken the heads of their enemies. I'm sure our Western friends here will find it barbaric, but this is our culture and heritage and the tribes who fought wars on each other did so in order to protect their lands. I hope that when I do have the time to trek way up north, I will still be able to see these elderly women adorned with the thousand year old custom of tattoos. I am enclosing a link that will detail the beauty and history of our native tattooing in the Cordilleras. I also hope and pray for the younger generation of Filipinos to show more interest in our culture. I feel sad when I see our youth with no knowledge or interest in our history
2 responses
@aseretdd (13736)
• Philippines
1 Feb 13
A friend of mine actually stayed there for a week... and he said that it is a life changing experience... like living in the past because they relied on nature everyday... No electricity or running water... so it follows... no cell phones or internet... just plain old nature all around... he also met the last remaining tattooed women and got himself a scorpion tattoo just below his nape... and since they relied on nature... there was no antibiotics or any form of modern day sterilization... so he relied on his own antibodies to combat any virus or germs he got during the process... I would love to experience that... maybe someday when my kids are all grown up... i will be able to go there and get my own tattoo...
• Philippines
2 Feb 13
I wish to go there and hopefully meet these tattooed women. Yes, it is a life changing experience, having lived in Batad (which is also in the Cordilleras) where there is no cell phone signal, no radio, nothing of the modern distractions of our everyday life. I plan to go there hopefully by next year. I won't get a tattoo though.
1 person likes this
@subhojit10 (7382)
• India
30 Jan 13
Thanks a ton for sharing this discussion. Well that is great to hear about the tribes and their lifestyle. In fact there has always been a trepidation in me to know more about the life and how they spend their day to day life because i am sure they must be having a different lifestyle from the general people. What say?