Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Batok: Traditional Pinoy Tattoo
One of the arts that were shared and taught was pambabatok or skin arts. Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao have different types of body art just like Baybayin which is distinct to different parts of the Philippine Peninsula.
If you try to look how the pambabatok is done, it is the same like the polynesians do. Our skin art have deep meanings as well, like the beehive design which means 'unity'. There are different designs including trees, waves, hagdang-hagdang palayan, and more (all of which have their own meanings).
One of the oldest, if not the only one left, and the most respected traditional tribal mambabatok is Whang Od, a lady who is part of the Kalinga tribe, uses siit (thorn) and hammers it down on your skin. She had did batok to different tribesmen, mainly warriors for the identity status just like the pintados of the Visayas region.
A certain group of tattoo artists like 'Tatak ng Apat na Alon Tribe' are reviving this vanishing tattoo culture. It is our pride to have our own face in the art of tattooing that is worth saving. According to one of the best tattoo artists in Boracay, Dandy Canalita of Inkupuncture, when you want to have the traditional or the neotraditional batok and you are a foreigner, you will be charged at a higher price since originally it was forbidden to have a batok if you are not a pure blooded Filipino.
In the art of tattooing, the considered "father of tribal tattoos" is also a Filipino (too bad I forgot his name), and one of the considered 'best' in Las Vegas is Chris Garcia.
Sariling atin na dapat tangkilikin at ipagmalaki.
Photos by: apat na alon tribe, inkupuncture, dandy canalita, and allan