BATOK - KALINGA TATTOOS Markers of Identity: From Indigenous to Diasporic

Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 22:00 to Sunday, November 4, 2012 - 01:00

Kapwa Collective presents:
BATOK - KALINGA TATTOOS Markers of Identity:From Indigenous to Diasporic

Storytelling of tattoo journeys by three Filipina Canadians. Multimedia art by Kristina Guison and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo. Photography by Ruel Bimuyag.  

Presentation by Anthropologist Analyn Salvador-Amores, University of the Philippines.

November 3, 2012

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
519 Church Street Community Centre
Free event.  Donations welcome at the door

In early 2011, two Filipina Canadians in their 20s set out separately on a journey from Toronto, Canada to a remote village called Buscalan in the Kalinga province of the Philippines, a place known for its magnificent rice terraces and tattooing traditions. Later that year, another Filipina Canadian in her 20s made her own trip to Buscalan in the company of Dr. Analyn ‘Ikin’ Salvador-Amores, an anthropologist based at the University of the Philippines, Baguio who completed her graduate research in Kalinga tattooing culture and its mark on the diaspora.

The three women from Canada embarked on their personal journeys with a common goal:  to receive the gift of tattoo from Apo Whang-Od, a woman in her 90s who is one of the last remaining tattooists in the region to still use indigenous design and method in her work.

In BATOK – KALINGA TATTOOS, Markers of Identity: From Indigenous to Diasporic, we will explore why these young women felt compelled to undertake this journey halfway across the world to receive a Kalinga tattoo from Apo Whang-Od, a woman who has dedicated her life to the intimate and spiritual practice of tattooing. In the process, we also hope to explore why it is important for people in this day and age to make links with Indigenous Peoples whether they are in the Philippines, Canada, or any other nation-state in the world.

The Kapwa Collective is a group of Filipino-Canadian artists, critical thinkers, and healers who work towards bridging narratives between the Indigenous and the Diasporic and between the Filipino and the Canadian. We are a volunteer-run, mutual support group that aims to facilitate links among academic, artistic, activist, and other communities in Toronto.Batok - Kalinga Tattoos is the first event in the Kapwa Speaker Series. Admission is free but donations are encouraged. All proceeds go towards making Kapwa events inclusive and accessible. Refreshments and Children’s Playroom are available during our event.

Come learn with us.
Contact: [email protected]

About Dr. Analyn ‘Ikin’ Salvador-Amores:

Dr. Salvador-Amores is a Social Anthropology professor at the University of the Philippines-Baguio. She has done research on Kalinga traditional tattoos in the diaspora. Other research interests include anthropology of the body, non-Western aesthetics, ethnicity and identity, colonial photography, visual anthropology, representation, textile research, material culture, death and funerary rituals, museum studies and anthropology of development, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia, specifically the Kalinga province in the Philippines. Dr. Salvador-Amores is the first Filipina scholar to graduate with a doctorate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at Hertford College, Oxford University. Read her work here:

About the Multimedia Artists:

“Sound Marks” is a mixed-media installation/performance piece by Kristina Guison, a Filipina Canadian visual artist currently studying Sculpture & Installation at OCAD University. Kristina explores different mediums ranging from tattoos, dye paintings, block prints, and acetate installations to candle sculptures. Learn more about Kristina’s work at

“We Are Kapwa People” is an installation by Filipina Canadian multimedia artist Jo SiMalaya Alcampo in collaboration with LGBT/Queer Filipino Canadians and allies, exploring the sensual, sublime and spiritual symbolism of indigenous patterns and tattoos. Jo is an OCADU alumna whose art practice integrates storytelling, installation-based art, and electroacoustic soundscapes. Learn more about Jo’s work at

“Untitled” is a photography presentation of Cordillera landscapes and people by Ruel Bimuyag, an Ifugao photographer and Culture Bearer specializing in Ifugao chants, rhythms, dances, and instrumental musical pattern. He says, “Scholars on the Cordillera tend to predict the demise of our region’s indigenous cultures. I observe that our culture is alive, thriving and evolving. Through my photographs, I am building a ‘positive portfolio’, a testament of our indigenous cultures and to the depths of my roots.” Learn more about Ruel’s work at


519 Church Street Community Centre
519 Church Street
Toronto , ON
43° 39' 59.094" N, 79° 22' 52.0536" W
Ontario CA
Christine Balmes

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