Vogue Philippines has unveiled the duvet star for his or her April 2023 concern: 106-year-old conventional tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od. Also called Maria Oggay, the Filipina centenarian would be the oldest particular person to grace the coveted cowl of Vogue. With muted silver hair, the closely tattooed artist cuts a placing determine with delicate eyes and weathered fingers that carried native traditions safely into the twenty first century.
Residing within the mountainous village of Buscalan within the Philippines’ Kalinga province, Apo Whang-od began studying the indigenous custom of hand-tapping tattoos when she was a youngster. A cultural icon in her personal proper, Whang-Od is taken into account to be the oldest, and maybe the final, mambabatok (conventional Kalinga tattoo artist).
As soon as reserved for warriors from the Butbut tribe, the tattoos held excessive cultural significance and needed to be earned. Now, Whang-Od principally works with worldwide guests, who make the lengthy pilgrimage to Kalinga for her well-known geometric designs. So long as individuals preserve coming to get tattoos, she believes that the custom will proceed.
On safeguarding the processes of Kalinga tattoo artistry, Apo Whang-Od instructed CNN Journey, “I am the one one left alive that is nonetheless giving tattoos. However I am not afraid that the custom will finish as a result of (I am coaching) the subsequent tattoo masters.”
For a number of years now, she has been instructing her grandnieces Elyang Wigan and Grace Palicas the way to create tattoos utilizing solely bamboo sticks, thorns from pomelo bushes, water, and coal. The artwork can solely be handed right down to blood family, and Whang-od is coaching the subsequent technology, simply as her father as soon as skilled her.