Monday, October 04, 2004

tattoos and teeth blackening

I wish I wasn't so busy this month, or else I'd be here every weekend. So far, this will be the only West Coast stop for this exhibit. One of the main organizing groups is a group of tattoo artists who have been bringing these designs back. Hope you can stop by!

Pusod proudly presents...

"SIGNS ON SKIN, BEAUTY AND BEING: Traditional Tattoos and Traditional Tooth Blackening Among the Philippine Cordillera"
OCTOBER 9 - 30, 2004
1808 5th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710

An Exhibition of Photographs and Artifacts curated by Professor Ikin Salvador, Anthropologist - University of the Philippines Baguio.

A pre-Spanish practice, the tattoos and the black teeth complement the notion of the indigenous’ peoples concept of body aesthetics. The standard of beauty then were permanent markings on the skin (batek) and black teeth (tubug sangi), today these practices are vanishing and a dying tradition. This series of exhibitions, the Batek and the Tubug, were made for people to look into this aspect of beautiful tradition of the indigenous Filipinos.

BATEK: The Anthropology of Traditional Tattoos in a Kalinga Village. The Batek Exhibition comprises of old and new photographs and actual tattoo instruments.

“A series of black and white photographs taken during her anthropological field research comprises Salvador’s exhibition She recorded on her camera the older members of Ilubo in Tanudan, Kalinga province who have batek (tattoos). The photographs captured the detailed tattoos of the surviving warriors (maingor), the women (bobaei) and the actual tattoo process performed for the last time by an old manbatek (tattoo artist) of the village."

TUBUG: Traditional Tooth Staining in the Cordillera. The Tubug Exhibition comprises of colored and black/white photographs from the research site, dentures and other implements used for tooth staining.

"Despite the popularity of tooth whitening products, some old folks in the Cordillera keep their teeth black until this day. Tubug is the practice of blackening or staining the teeth with black resinous substance from burned guava, coffee branch and other plant dyes."


Join us in welcoming the only westcoast showing as of yet.

Exhibit will be open to the public on Saturdays
OCTOBER 16, 23, and 30
11am - 6pm, with programs from 2-4pm

"Signs on Skin, Beauty and Being" programs will consist of a talk by Professor Ikin Salvador with video documentation, traditional tattoo demonstrations, shaman rituals, and BIBAK (a coalition of various mountain province tribes) performing Northern Philippines Mountain dances. Please visit for more information.

Note to organizations: Large groups of up to 10 people may schedule viewing the exhibit on Mondays and Fridays from 11-6pm. Please contact or call (510) 649-1537 to make an appointment.

This exhibit is sponsored by:
Mark of the Four Wings, Inc., Los Angeles, California
Center for Southeast Asian Studies
International Institute & Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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