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The editors of the glossy magazine Vogue Philippines are clearly tired of the often monotonous shots of models, actresses and have prepared a truly exciting material with a unique heroine. It is never too late to become a star, even if you are 106 years old – it was at that age that a Filipina named Apo Wang-Od posed for the cover of one of the most famous publications in the world and broke the record, becoming the oldest heroine of the magazine. And this is not just a grandmother's photo shoot – we have a stylish woman with bright makeup and tattoos all over her body. ” alt=”There is a record: a 106-year-old tattoo artist from the Philippines appeared on the cover of Vogue” />
Apo Wang-Od is the oldest tattoo artist in the world – she has been working in a completely unique technique called batok, or the traditional Filipino tattoo art, invented thousands of years ago, throughout her professional career. This skill was taught to her by her father. Wang-Od made her first drawing when she was 15 years old.
Instead of the usual ink for many tattoo lovers, a woman uses a mixture of water and coal. The pattern is stuffed onto a template previously drawn on the skin using a stick with a sharp spike attached to it – it is dipped into the mixture, then the spike pierces the skin under the blows of a bamboo hammer. According to the owners of such tattoos, the drawing procedure is very painful and takes a lot of time.
But all this does not at all frighten those who dream of wearing a piece of such art on themselves – up to hundreds of people become Vang-Od's clients every day. All of them have to overcome a long journey – the village of the tattoo artist is located in the mountainous province of Kalinga – from here it takes 15 hours to get to the capital of the Philippines Manila by car.
It is interesting that the art of creating batok can only be passed on to blood relatives, but Wang-Od has no natural children – so she taught this technique to her 26-year-old great-niece Grace Palikas. Now the women work together.