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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

UP/Oxford Scholar to Critique Discovery's Coverage of Kalinga Tattooing

UP Baguio professor/anthropologist Analyn "Ikin" Salvador is delivering a paper on "Authenticity and Television: The Case of the Kalinga Tattoos" at the Ateneo de Manila University on 10 February 2010 at 2:30-4:30 pm. Ikin has spent over a decade doing anthropological studies in Kalinga and was formally adopted by the Butbut "tribe" in a Kammid ceremony held late last year.  She is pursuing her doctorate in the University of Oxford.

In the recent Discovery Channel feature Tattoo Hunter, Kalinga tattooing became the center of attention as it is portrayed as a ‘dying art’ and in need of saving. Kalinga is the name referred to the many groups in a part of the Philippine Cordilleras known as Kalinga province. Analyn Ikin Salvador’s discussion of the Discovery Channel feature looks into questions of authenticity and legitimacy rendered by television. Moreover, she includes her own insights as an anthropologist who has long studied tattooing in Southern Kalinga. In the process she critiques Discovery Channel presenter, Lars Krutak (the Tattoo Hunter) who showed himself participating for several days in the community life of a Kalinga group until he was accepted by them and more importantly by the elder Whang-ud (photo above with her young apprentice), to teach him the ‘ancient art of Kalinga tattooing.’ [lifted from an ADMU flyer advertising the lecture]

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