whang-od-5_462B74F2247E42C6AE67A512B2B73088She’s a star but remains unassuming. She easily bursts into toothless chuckles but her mood swings are wicked. She is quite elusive. This is Apo Whang-od, the woman behind the indigenous tattoo art, that many fear will end in her hands.
It is not an easy journey traversing mountains and passing the rice terraces. But I keep coming back because of their immense cultural experience.
Many of those who have met Apo Whang-od would be of the same mind that it’s not easy to engage her in a conversation. When she’s not tattooing, you’d find her feeding her hogs, pounding rice or being quietly alone away from the eyes of the tourists.
whang-od-1_2676C505F1CD489B9E1CBDD5742ECB93Whang-od’s body is a full canvas of her story. Her arms, back, legs and chest exhibit beautiful and complex folkloric decorations of her rite of passage, beauty and protection.
Now close to 100, she has still remained single. While many couples immortalize their love for each other with tattoos, how will Apo Whang-od, the Philippines’ most adored living traditional tattoo artist, tell her own?
According to the stories of the locals, that distinct empty space on her right wrist is reserved for the man she loved. Sadly, she lost him to war and never married since.

 

Source: http://www.rappler.com/

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