Apo Whang-Od, considered the oldest traditional Kalinga tattooist in her age of at least 95, has received international recognition in a tattoo art exhibit in Canada.
Titled "Tatoo: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art.," the exhibit showcased the history of tattoos that spanned for more than 5, 000 years, featuring people from different parts of the world whose hands left indelible marks on countless generations.
Her work shared the spotlight with other global tattoo artists such as Tin-Tin from France and Yann Black from Canada.
The Last Traditional Kalinga Tattooist
Apo Whang-od hails from the Butbut tribe of Busculan in the mountains of Kalinga. Fans of the art endure hours of travel time, from riding on top of jeepneys to long and tiring hikes, just to get inked by Whang-od.
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Whang-od uses a mixture of soot and water for ink, while using a Pomelo tree thorn and bamboo draw her tribal art with.