A Filipino tattoo artist who has been practicing the practice for more than nine decades has become a new cover star for Vogue at the age of 106.
Apo Whang-Od, also known as Maria Oggay, is an expert hand tattoo artist who has been perfecting the art since she was a teenager.
When she appeared on the cover of Vogue Philippines, she became the biggest star ever for the international fashion magazine, dethroning the previous title holder, 85-year-old Dame Judi Dench.
The tattoo artist is from the mountain village of Buskalan, 15 hours north of the country’s capital Manila in the Kalinga province, and is believed to be the oldest traditional Kalinga tattoo artist in the country – also known as mambabok.
She creates her designs using a bamboo stick, a fork from the pomelo tree, water, and charcoal.
Tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od, 106, graced the cover of Vogue Philippines’ beauty issue, becoming the oldest ever cover star for the international fashion magazine.
In a social media post, Vogue Philippines said: ‘Heralded as the last Mambabok of its generation, it has imprinted Kalinga tribal symbols—signifying strength, courage, and beauty—on the skin of thousands of people who have made the pilgrimage. to Boscalan.
The history of tattoos dates back to the days of the indigenous Butbut warriors, who obtained ink for service.
But now the centennial artist attracts visitors from all over the world who seek her architectural designs.
Since the art of creating tattoos can only be passed on to blood relatives, Whang-Od is currently teaching the younger generation in her family how to practice the art.
Muammar (pictured in 2012) is the oldest traditional tattoo artist from Kalinga – also known as mambabok
The tattoo artist herself is an inker of all geometric patterns and has been practicing the art since she was a teenager
Whang-Od, also known as Maria Oggay, receives clients from all over the world who travel for her autograph
The perennial does this practice using bamboo sticks, tree thorns, water and charcoal and is currently teaching her great-granddaughters the practice.
For several years, she has been coaching her great-granddaughters, Eliang Wigan and Grace Palikas.
In 2017, the painter said CNN Travel: “(My friends who got tattoos) are all dead.”
I’m the only one left alive who still gives tattoos. But I’m not afraid the tradition will end because (I’m training) the next tattoo masters.
“The tradition will continue as long as people keep coming to get tattoos,” she added.
Whang-Od continued that she will continue to bestow tattoos on others as long as her vision is clear.
Vogue Philippines’ editor-in-chief Pia Valdes said it was a unanimous decision among the publication’s staff to put Whang-Od on the cover.
She said the tattoo artist represents all that is “beautiful” in Filipino culture.
We believe that the concept of beauty needs to evolve to include diverse and inclusive faces and shapes. “What we hope to talk about is the beauty of humanity,” Valdez said.
After posting the cover, the tattoo artist’s Instagram account posted the image with the caption: “Beauty embraces culture. Beauty transcends age. Beauty isn’t modern, it’s timeless.”
In 2018, Apo Whang-Od appeared in Asia Tatler. Speaking to the publication at the time, Wang Aode’s great-niece Eliang said, “My Apo is the strongest and bravest woman I’ve ever known. I’ve spent my whole life trying to be just like her.
It is as if they are the foundation of our entire society. We all know that when you die, everything will change.