The Last Tattooed Women Of Kalinga
Jake Verzosa, Philippines
Steidl Publishing, 2017
96 pages, 66 images
Hardback / Clothbound
Dimensions, 26.8 x 33 cm
The Last Tattooed Women of Kalinga presents a series of portraits by Jake Verzosa who laments and celebrates a dying tradition of tattooing in villages throughout the Cordillera mountains in the northern Philippines. For nearly a thousand years the Kalinga women have proudly worn these lace-like patterns or batok on their skin as symbols of beauty, wealth, stature and fortitude. Applied as part of a painful ritual, the vivid tattoos—abstractions of motifs such as ferns, rice bundles, centipedes and flowing rivers—reflect a rite of passage and a powerful bond with nature. Yet today this intricate form of self-adornment has largely been abandoned due to changing aesthetic perceptions.
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