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Enigmatic Geometric Tattoos of the Butbut of Kalinga, Philippines

  • Ma. Louise Antonette N. De Las PeñasEmail author
  • Analyn Salvador-Amores
The Mathematical Tourist Ma. Louise Antonette N. De las Peñas, Editor
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There is an outpouring of local and foreign tourists flocking to the remote village of Buscalan in Tinglayan, Southern Kalinga, a mountainous region of the Cordillera located in Northern Luzon, Philippines. The main purpose of their visit is to get batók—traditional tattoos, which are permanent inscriptions embedded in the skin—from Whang-ud Oggay, the ninety-year-old tattoo practitioner whose story has left a mark on everyone who has heard it. To reach the village of Whang-ud, you will have to undertake an arduous journey: ten hours from Metro Manila (capital region of the Philippines) to Bontoc, three hours from Bontoc to Kalinga, one hour by motorbike, and another hour of trekking to reach the village of Buscalan, where the Butbut community reside (see Figure  1 for a map).

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the people of Butbut in Tinglayan, Kalinga, for their warmth and hospitality. The photographs were taken by Analyn Salvador-Amores during her anthropological fieldwork in Kalinga. The illustrations of traditional tattoos of the Butbut are based on her field notes. The authors are grateful to Eduard Taganap, who created new renditions of the illustrations.

References

  1. Howard Krieger 1926. The Collection of Primitive Weapons and Armor of the Philippine Islands in the United States National Museum. US National Museum Bulletin 37. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution.Google Scholar
  2. Analyn Salvador-Amores, 2002. Batek: Traditional Tattoos and Identities in Contemporary Kalinga, North Luzon Philippines. Humanities Diliman 31:105–142.Google Scholar
  3. Analyn Salvador-Amores, 2013. Tapping Ink, Tattooing Identities: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Kalinga Society. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.Google Scholar
  4. Doris Schattschneide, 2008. Short Crystallographic Notation for Frieze Patterns. Math for America, p439-450. Retrieved from http://www.mathforamerica.org.
  5. Dorothy Washburn and Donald Crowe, 1988. Symmetries of Culture: Theory and Practice of Plane Pattern Analysis. Seattle: University of Washington Press. http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1039442.zbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ma. Louise Antonette N. De Las Peñas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Analyn Salvador-Amores
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsAteneo de Manila UniversityQuezon CityPhilippines
  2. 2.Department of Social Anthropology and PsychologyUniversity of the Philippines BaguioBaguio CityPhilippines

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