From a remote mountain village in the Northern Philippines, Wang Od Oggay carries on the tattooing tradition of her ancestors, offering those who come to her the sacred markings that were once reserved for the women and warriors of the Kalinga people.
SKINDIGENOUS is a series of 13 half-hour documentaries on the art of tattooing as practiced by indigenous peoples around the world. Each episode dives into a unique indigenous culture to discover the tools and techniques, and the symbols and traditions that shape their tattooing art. The art of the tattoo becomes a lens for exploring some of the planet's oldest cultures and their unique perspectives on life, identity, and the natural world. For millennia, humans have been marking their bodies with images and symbols, giving visible form to what they hold sacred. The oldest evidence of tattooing goes back to the Neolithic era, more than 5,000 years ago. Today, indigenous artists around the world continue to practice this ancient art using their own techniques and traditions. For these artists, and for those who call on their services, tattooing has much more than aesthetic value. It is an essential part of their cultural identity, as well as a vehicle for connecting with nature, ancestors, and the spiritual world. Each episode of SKINDIGENOUS features a master tattoo artist who reveals the secrets of their art. By following a master and one of his or her clients through the process of creating a new tattoo piece, the series explores the origins and purpose ascribed to body art in their culture. The episodes document the process of making a tattoo — from how pigments are made to how the ink is injected into the skin using traditional methods.