Apo Whang-Od, a native of the Kalinga region of the Philippines, practicing the traditional batok tattoo art, is 106 years old. She appears on the cover of Vogue Philippines edition.
The fashion magazine giant Vogue’s recent Philippine edition features a native of the Philippines’ Kalinga region Apo Whang-Od. 106-year-old Whong-Od is so far the oldest person ever seen on the cover of Vogue.
In the magazine, Whong-Od tells about the traditional batok tattooing tradition of his people. The tattoos are done by hand on the skin with a thorn attached to a bamboo stick. The color is made from natural pigments and soot.
As a practitioner of the tradition, Whong-Odi is called a mamabatok or a traditional Kalinga tattoo artist. According to tradition, the practice of batok runs in the family, and Whong-Od strives to pass the skill on. He himself started tattooing at the age of 16 and plans to continue his work as long as he can keep his eyesight.
According to Vogue, Whong-Od has inspired younger generations to practice batok and thus managed to protect a traditional skill that is being mastered by fewer and fewer people. Getting a Batok tattoo has become quite a phenomenon among tourists who make pilgrimages to Whong-Od’s home village of Buscalan.
The cover photos of different editions of Vogue have traditionally taken a stand on the change in the fashion world. Abo Whong-Od is one of the few indigenous people seen on the pages of the magazine.
Among Finns, the prime minister of the previous government and the chairman of SDP were last seen on the pages of Vogue Sanna Marin. Both American and British Vogue interviewed Marin in the spring of 2020.