Hands Of Kalinga, by Nikka Corsino

IPA IPA Mentorship Program, IPA Workshops, PROJECTS 6 Comments

Whang-od has not left her village in a very long time. She lives in Buscalan, deep in the mountains of Kalinga province in northern Philippines. Every day, she farms, cooks, and raises her pigs, just like the rest of the Butbut tribe.

Unmarried at 95, Whang-od is the last of her tribe’s tattoo artists. While younger tribe members do not seem too keen on having the full-sleeved tattoos of their elders, Kalinga’s batok tradition is far from disappearing in Whang-od’s hands. It is, instead, taking new form.

People from all over now make the grueling trip to Buscalan for her tattoos, spawning a new generation of Kalinga art bearers. Whang-od, who has scarred warriors returning from battle, now hammers age-old tradition into the skin of the future, dispersing their culture of Batok from her humble village into the world.

Photographs & Text: Nikka Corsino | Website: www.nikkacorsino.com

Hands Of Kalinga, by Nikka Corsino was made during the IPA Mentorship Program. Click to view: More Mentorship Projects.

The IPA Mentorship Program is a distance learning photography mentorship initiative by Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA) for those who wish to further their personal photographic vision and goals. More info: store.invisiblephotographer.asia/products/ipamentorshipprogram



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  1. Pingback: Hands of Kalinga | Nikka Corsino

  2. Pingback: Slideshows from IPA PLUG & PLAY Slideshow Session | August 2014 | Invisible Ph t grapher Asia (IPA) | 亞洲隱形攝影師

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