Who is Apo Whang-od
Apo Whang-od, also known as Fang Od, is a Filipino tattoo artist from the Butbut tribe in Buscalan, Kalinga, Philippines. She was born on February 17, 1917, and is considered the last traditional tattoo artist of the Kalinga people, known for her hand-tapped tattoos using traditional methods.
Apo Whang-od early life
Whang-od grew up in the mountains of Kalinga, where her family was part of the Butbut tribe. She learned the art of traditional tattooing at a young age from her father, who was also a tattoo artist.
The art of traditional tattooing in Kalinga is called Batok, which involves using a bamboo stick or thorn to puncture the skin and apply ink. As she grew older, Whang-od became known for her skill and artistry and began to receive requests from members of her community for tattoos.
She continued to refine her technique and develop her unique style, incorporating traditional Kalinga designs and symbols into her work.
Apo Whang-od age
She was born on February 17, 1917, she is 106 years.
Apo Whang-od Tattoo career
Whang-od’s tattoo career spans over 80 years, and she is considered a master tattoo artist in the traditional Kalinga style. She has tattooed thousands of people throughout her career, and her work is highly sought after by both locals and tourists alike.
Her tattoos are known for their intricate designs and use of natural dyes made from charcoal and water, which are applied using a bamboo needle. Her technique involves tapping the needle into the skin to create intricate patterns and designs, a process that is often painful and can take several hours or even days to complete.
Whang-od’s tattoos are not only aesthetically beautiful but also carry significant cultural and spiritual meaning. In Kalinga culture, tattoos are seen as a symbol of strength, courage, and identity, and each design holds its significance and story.
Despite her advanced age, Whang-od continues to practice her craft and has become a cultural icon in the Philippines. Many people travel to her remote village in the mountains of Kalinga to receive a tattoo from her, and she has received numerous awards and recognition for her contributions to traditional Kalinga tattoo art.
Apo Whang-od International fame
Whang-od is famous for her unique designs, which feature geometric patterns and symbols that represent the culture and traditions of the Kalinga people. Her tattoos are also said to have spiritual and protective significance, serving as a form of armor for warriors and a symbol of beauty and strength for women.
In recent years, Whang-od has gained international recognition for her art, with tourists and tattoo enthusiasts from around the world traveling to her village in Buscalan to receive a traditional tattoo from her. Her work has been featured in numerous documentaries and media outlets, including the New York Times and National Geographic.
Is Apo Whang-od still alive?
Despite her age, Whang-od continues to practice her art, passing on her skills and knowledge to her grandnieces and other members of her community. She has also been recognized for her contribution to Filipino culture, receiving numerous awards and honors, including the Dangal ng Haraya Award from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2018.
Whang-od’s legacy as a traditional tattoo artist and cultural icon has inspired a renewed interest in the art of traditional tattooing in the Philippines and around the world. She remains a beloved figure in her community and a symbol of the resilience and strength of the Kalinga people.