|Journal / Conference:
||Asian Journal of Social Science
||Martin Soukup, Dušan Lužný, Jan D. Bláha, Jaroslav Skupnik
|Category of Publication:
||Article in Journal
||Philippines, tattoo, aura of tattoo, commodification, tradition
|Link to full version:
||The present study focuses on the ongoing shift in the meaning and importance of traditional Kalinga tattoos that is happening in Buscalan village in the Philippines. The starting point for the analysis is the conception of disintegration of “the aura”, as defined by Walter Benjamin, resulting from their disembedding from time and space that is caused by technological reproducibility of the artworks. The study shows that the basis of the aura of Buscalan tattoos is their relation to a successful headhunt. At present, tattoos in Buscalan are standing on the edge, because the high popularity of the last tattoo artist who tattooed the head-hunters leads to commodification of traditional tattoos and an increase in tourism in the particular area. The study describes a two-way process of disintegration and preservation of the aura of Buscalan tattoos: on the one hand, the tradition of tattooing headhunters has disappeared, but on the other hand, the aura of tattoos is preserved thanks to audiovisual means and sharing on social networking sites. The “here and now ”of the place and its tattoos is being transferred into the hyper-reality where Buscalan tattoos are gaining a new dimension.