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The last Kalinga tattoo artist, Whang Od | DW Documentary

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Meet Whang Od. She lives in the Philippines and is the last master of the art of traditional, hand-tapped Filipino tattoos. Whang Od is 93 and her body is adorned with snakes and millipedes. She is the last practitioner of a very special art form – and all she needs for this art form, are charcoal, water, a dash of sugar cane juice for shine, and the thorns of the orange tree, which she uses as needles. She’s highly sought after by young people around the world. The film accompanies Charly and Egan, two brave young men who have travelled to the remote village Buscalan to meet Whang Od. ‘Some wet their pants because they’re so scared,’ says Whang Od and laughs. Even getting to the village she lives in is a challenge: a narrow path leads through the jungle, deep down into a canyon and finally up into the mountains. ‘You can fly to the Moon, but you can’t build a road to Buscalan,’ say the people in Kalinga province, a region more remote and unexplored than any other in the country. Reporter Philipp Abresch took the trek upon himself - with the help of twenty-five porters. _______ Exciting, powerful and informative – DW Documentary is always close to current affairs and international events. Our eclectic mix of award-winning films and reports take you straight to the heart of the story. Dive into different cultures, journey across distant lands, and discover the inner workings of modern-day life. Subscribe and explore the world around you – every day, one DW Documentary at a time. Subscribe to DW Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW39zufHfsuGgpLviKh297Q?sub_confirmation=1# For more documentaries visit: http://www.dw.com/en/tv/docfilm/s-3610 Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dwdocumentary/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dw.stories DW netiquette policy: http://www.dw.com/en/dws-netiquette-policy/a-5300954
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Text Comments (800)
DW Documentary (7 months ago)
For the Spanish version of this documentary, visit our new YouTube channel 'DW Documental': https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ1GpKa15ulyoQuxz7H4rng
Mrssewhardtoplease (2 days ago)
Poor poor pig!!!!!
80xbaby y y (6 days ago)
I really want a tattoo from her!
Chelsea (9 days ago)
anyone else triggered by that pig slaughtering ?
Ida Mejia (9 days ago)
I'm glad there is someone to carry on this beautiful art form.
Ghie Nation (10 days ago)
I can see this was shoot maybe a year or a couple years ago because today our Province which is Kalinga is improving especially here in Tabuk City which is the Capital of Kalinga. you can see it on our roads and buildings being built. You could come and visit as here we have a lot more places to offer beside Buscalan.
Jason Cauguiran (13 days ago)
I have a tattoo by wang od too!
kalayaan (16 days ago)
Moana tribe
Meshii (19 days ago)
I've also heard from my friend that Whang Od cups her male clients' balls before giving them a tattoo. It's a joke-turned-tradition, he said. I was hoping to see that happen in this video. Lol. 😅 Anyway, Whang Od grabbed my friend's balls. My friend said they had a good laugh about it. In the end, the tatts he got looked so cool that the pain from the process and the embarrassment from having been groped were all worth it. Whang Od is a national treasure and I'd love to get my first tattoo from her before she retires. 😊
owen yang (20 days ago)
poor pig
uggy the iguana (20 days ago)
Wtf the pig was so sad
Gille87 (20 days ago)
The 2nd guy needs to stop complaining. I have 15 tataus. And I never made a sound. This is nothing.
Rodzel Jegonia (25 days ago)
When you get tatto in whang Od feel long life
Dan Patch (28 days ago)
Peace quiet and natural beauty are priceless and so is Grace
Arnmazing (1 month ago)
"Only the brave warriors got the tattoo" not that simple, you kill your enemy, chop his head off, bring it to the village, have a feast and get the tattoo.
scorp s (1 month ago)
I am actually also a filipino
•Jo• (1 month ago)
Beautiful wise woman. How lucky to be tattooed by Whang OD!!! Much respect ✊🏽 for Whang OD. 🙏🏽
Dog alpha (1 month ago)
Lets face it ... We all go there for pots... sideline the fuucking tattoos. This place is heaven if you want eat all you can.
Jeremaih Nonu (1 month ago)
Omg yes finally ik what this type of tattooing is man it took me so long
Karen Tiangsing (1 month ago)
i love the woman wearing sunglasses while doing the laundry 😂👍
ahmad Mazlan (1 month ago)
certainly not the last. this kind of hand tapped tattoo can also be found in borneo.
Tash Quennell (1 month ago)
Can't believe that she's 101 she looks like 60-80 for me
Ruel Martinez (1 month ago)
want to know the secret of her long life????? she never get married!!!!!
Na na Smith (1 month ago)
I would have loved to take a journey just to see her and get one of those tattoos...because it makes it that much more special.
Kenneth Bautista (1 month ago)
9:55 he choked!! TIIIIIIIIIIMEEEEEE
Erika Vystartaite (2 months ago)
Such a beautiful documentary, thank you :)
paul nash (2 months ago)
Blessings to these people. For all of our "advancement", we in the west still have so much we could learn...
REAPER evils son (2 months ago)
That is our Filipino pride the greatest legend tattoo artist of kalinga .. I'm so lucky that I'm also a Filipino tattoo artist ..
Arpita Biswas (2 months ago)
Excellent Woman
Adi Hermann (2 months ago)
Why is this traditional tatooing technique similar with polynesian tatooing techniques? Are people in the Ph have polynesian dna?
jack item (18 days ago)
Yes
Mark Poquiz (2 months ago)
Apo Wang Od 😍😍😍
Jehoshua Brown Singh (2 months ago)
WOW! some of the things they do are so similar to my people of the Pacific. I'm sure there is some link between us (Polynesian, Melanesian and Micronesian) and them. Beautiful, embrace the culture and dont let it fade. ❤️
Anime Scenes (2 months ago)
Uh no. This is cultural appropriation. These tattoos are meant for warriors and now it’s being commodified. Stop glorifying and supporting this. Whang-od only does this because they need to earn money. What we really should talk about is how the Philippine government keeps on exploiting the lands of the Kalinga. It’s because of that they have to earn a living and sacrifice their culture.
Maragtas Kalantiyaw (2 months ago)
Tattoos back in the days are earned, but now they're bought. -From Kalinga here
Sean Culligan (2 months ago)
The new tattoo artist doesn't have any tattoos?
Brian Fromps (2 months ago)
Is she related to chung
bubba luv (2 months ago)
why are poor people the most generous and welcoming
Martin Rowlands (2 months ago)
She most beautiful old person I ever seen and I love tattoos and her tattoos are awesome
Emmanuel Cesar (2 months ago)
That the future of pig to died early
Izit J (2 months ago)
I watched a seperate documentaries, it was old and grace was too young that time. Now, shes old now and continues what she have learned from her great aunt.
Rajasingam Rajasingam (2 months ago)
Dude!, they just caught a pig and shred it's body while its alive!
theabstrakt84 (3 months ago)
good thing she is not reusing needles like they do in many of those parts in Asia...like in Bhutan...these are organic needles so it is fine...
Vicara Vitakka (3 months ago)
The Kalinga women look fierce and beautiful in this video.
Elaine Lat (3 months ago)
Organic and vegan tattooing at it's finest
Howl Castle (3 months ago)
"We have to walk with same rhythm then we can achieve anything"
Robin Bush (3 months ago)
so beautiful at her age. wow
Fronneily Tadena (3 months ago)
This is great and all but why *gruesome* ?
linn h (3 months ago)
For the people who wanne get a tattoo by her. (I wanted it either) She stopped last year.
loke (3 months ago)
egon? from ghostbusters?
Carlos Gallego (3 months ago)
3:44 smoking a fat backwood🚬
Teetwo Dev (3 months ago)
She's a living national treasure. Can someone get her an optometrist and an internist up there to make sure she'll last another hundred years. Although, whatever she's doing must be right since the average life span for Filipinos in 2015 is 68 years.
Teetwo Dev (3 months ago)
Times sure have changed since the tribal head cutting wars. You can see this as folk eschew traditional Kalinga wear for CSI baseball caps and Seattle Supersonics jerseys.
John Louis Ferrer (3 months ago)
Any proud filipinos here?
Junes Al Marri (3 months ago)
Amazing story
chelsea frago (3 months ago)
she’s so beautiful
Lydia cabrera (3 months ago)
How discussing & sad to kill the innocent pig! Savages
Kamaljit Singh (3 months ago)
Oh my god she was absolutely elegant women and what a beautiful place
Pam Jack (3 months ago)
In South Africa .. I hope she's still alive for when I can travel to go see her. 😭🙎💜
Dineee (3 months ago)
i want to tattoed by Whang Od but im just 15 years old mygash
Racquel Robinson (3 months ago)
Great documentary.
chris smith (3 months ago)
wow she is beautiful.....
MakeupByCess821 (4 months ago)
What a wonderful thing to be able to say I got a tattoo from Whang Od herself. The hike looks treacherous!
Robert Pocais Jr. (4 months ago)
I'm a Kalingan Filipino and the culture of Kalinga is absolutely fascinating. Us, people from Kalinga, are nice and headhunting was a thing of the past, so please don't be afraid to try and get to know us and our culture.
A J (4 months ago)
I'm from northeast part of India (nagaland) and everything is similar to our culture. Watch Tattoo Hunter.
lynx mines (4 months ago)
she possesses a beauty that can only posses by IGOROT women ... a talent that can only be measured by courage and pain ... and a product that has passed on by generation to generation ... a stitches that represent a dying culture ... let us not forget those traditions that we have even before Spanish rule our land ...thanks for uploading this documentary video..
Vata Hausia (4 months ago)
For those whom said Filipino copies that is wrong. Just remember other colonists tried to remove that tradition from Philippines entirely. Gladly you guys are still holding onto it. Us Polynesians may disagree but our cultures spread through both Pacific and Indian Ocean. I would say Samoa and Philippines share a lot in common.
Kim Miranda (4 months ago)
Hey everybody, a lot of tourists/foreigners who visit Buscalan please make sure you give Whang Od and Grace proper respect and PROPER COMPENSATION/Tips/resources like food/animals etc/maybe help her with housekeeping. There have been facebook reports of tourists and etc who pollute the area, are noisy, have sex in plain view in the huts/houses, don't give Whang Od a proper rest. She's a old woman and a national treasure, and should not be treated like a commodity.
Sarah Arnold (4 months ago)
I would want to get a tattoo from Whang
It's Ethan (4 months ago)
Hello from the Philippines (Baguio City) 😍
kkkx 7 (4 months ago)
if you take the indians from my countru and put them beside these people you won't see diffrence
Asian Persuasion.2002 (4 months ago)
I was born in Tabuk, Kalinga. I live in the U.S. now. But I want to see my birthplace one day.
sarwan476 (4 months ago)
Is there any relationship between the great Kalinga Empire in ancient India of Asoka Era and the name of this Village?
Dan X (4 months ago)
This old woman is a Filipino Chinese woman. We call that Chekwa in tagalog (mix Filo and Chinese ancestry)
Bobby Boogie (4 months ago)
The kaglaga and the atea are melanesian Polynesian tribes from nothern phillpinese their not Asian anyone can see their clearly Polynesian in features and art
Bobby Boogie (4 months ago)
She looks Polynesian mixed this tribe from phillpinese are related to Hawaiian and Samoan and Fijian and maori and Tongans and Easter islanders and cook islanders etc other Polynesian ethnic
Effie Gabrielle Blakely (4 months ago)
How they translated some of the phrases here are wrong. I can understand some stuff on here since I grew up in the high lands of the Philippines. I belong to another tribe though.
Dani Mark (4 months ago)
Why are Filipino men from the city chubby?
Thecia Walang (4 months ago)
is they changes the orrange needle for every person.
beem!!! !! (4 months ago)
Lots of wisdom in this documentary
Sinister Mephisto (4 months ago)
She gets payment in French kisses
Keep the cultures alive
Roman Starr (4 months ago)
i was doing these tattoos by hand for years and then no one wants them anymore because of pain and they like the new age tattoos better. no open market for this style in inkers society!
CasparCrew Leuila (4 months ago)
kalinga in my language means ear.
Dan Josef (4 months ago)
Whang is such an inspiring woman
tyrone loki (4 months ago)
apay ada gayam shop ni grace manila??
jalixcx _ (4 months ago)
Gosh, she is beautiful❤
Kyle Luisaga (4 months ago)
That's a japanese soldier jaw bone
yunyi chow (4 months ago)
Omaigawd that poor pig 😱😱😱
DJearworm11 (4 months ago)
She’s a 101
DiabolicNick (4 months ago)
Lmao she also groped a dude before tattooing him in the video I watched right before this xD
Hi Hello (4 months ago)
Good thing she taught her grand daughters
PyschoWolf (4 months ago)
14:15 especially for u Logan Paul!
Excelsior Cafe (4 months ago)
If the Philippines have never been invaded and killed over and over again from British, Spanish,American and The Japanese...We Maybe Have The Most Oldest People in The World...Our Inventors and Geniuses Been Killed and Robbed and They Almost Eliminated Our Original RiceWine From That Mountain Of Banawe...We Already Have Rice But Some Invader Just Robbed that Rice Wine...and Making their Own. It’s Envy why they come to Invade Us and Killed Our bravest Warriors...We Already have our own Fist fight. And to make story short..by our hundreds variety of menu’s of foods and desserts is a signs that Philippines is Rich.
For Teen (4 months ago)
The translation from the old warrior man was not accurate
Long Lee (4 months ago)
24 second in and I am so glad that she is the last. How sanitize is her tattoo technique.....
dee rojas (4 months ago)
Wow this lady is really beautiful and thanks for sharing
Tom Yum (5 months ago)
The warrior old man interviewed spoke in ilocano.. 😁
Robinson Trck (5 months ago)
She is so beautiful...God bless.
Embcii Bee (5 months ago)
the translator is WAY TO OFF, also the tattoos are given by the artist not chosen by the one who wants to get the tattoo
It's Moon (5 months ago)
I understand them. Tagalog group! I’m 100% Filipino and Tagalog Born and raised in the Philippines
caifre (4 months ago)
It's Moon I speak Tagalog but I don’t understand them, because they mostly used Kalinga in the video, not much Tagalog.

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