Tattooing, design belong to i-Kalingas

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TINGLAYAN, Kalinga – The Cordillera office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP-CAR) underscored that the art of tattooing and the community designs belong to the community of Kalinga that is why the consent of the whole community is required when the same will be replicated by businesses, designers and others wanting to advertise the same through various forms of media.

NCIP-CAR regional director lawyer Marlon Bosantog stated that allowing tattooing and its related designs to be openly taught through social media will definitely cause the same to eventually lose its cultural meaning and tourism value as it will be generically available for everyone in the global village.

Bosantog, together with responsible NCIP-CAR personnel, conducted a dialogue with the family of Apo Whang-od and the Buscalan community in the alleged attempt of bloggers to allow the country’s famous tattoo artist to teach the art of tattooing online through the so-called Wang-ud academy.

However, the NCIP-CAR official pointed out that it was very clear from the aforesaid talks that Apo Whang-od was allegedly misinformed on the contract that some famous bloggers presented to her to affix her thumb mark for her consent to allow the teaching of tattooing online.

He disclosed that the community reiterated the call to interested bloggers and companies intending to exploit the art of tattooing and its designs to first seek the consent of the people of Kalinga before doing so pursuant to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) to avoid uproar from the affected indigenous peoples (IPs).

According to him, the community agreed to conduct a healing and conciliation ritual to put an end to the said use that nearly impacted the art of tattooing in the province.

Bosantog claimed that it will be very difficult for the elders to convince the younger tattoo artists to pursue the said trade when the same will be generically available on the social media aside from the fact that it will affect the local tourism industry as there will be no more foreign and domestic tourists who will frequent the locality once the said tattooing trade will be openly available online.

He added that the bloggers responsible for the put up of the Whang-od academy in the social media voluntarily removed the said website after the community of Kalinga vehemently protested the same as the same is considered a direct affront to the age-old and time-honored culture and traditions of the Ips who had preserved and protected the same over the past several decades.

Bosantog urged the people of Kalinga and other indigenous peoples in the different parts of the country to be vigilant on the activities of individuals and companies in their respective domain which might compromise their culture and traditions so that they will immediately invoke the need for them to undergo the required free and prior informed consent process once there will be attempts to exploit, develop, utilize and eventually commercialize the same which is already in clear violation of the IPRA. By HENT

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