Getting a Tattoo
HOW TO GET A CUSTOM TATTOO DESIGN FROM US
First, please answer the posted questionnaire. This is an important step to beginning the process of researching your background. There are 17 questions and the more thorough your answers, the better we will be able to determine the patterns to express your family’s unique story and your individual path. You will carry these markings on your skin forever so we highly encourage you to take your time while filling it out but please try keep your attention on the question that was asked.
Email your answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in your email – Your name, city and phone number, as well as, how you heard about us, where on your body you want the tattoo and why you are interested in pursuing this traditional art form. We require this information so we may know you better and understand how serious you are on this journey of reconnecting with your roots. The design fees vary based on size and location. To ensure your commitment, after we receive your answers, we require you to make a payment via PayPal before we begin researching and creating the design. This process can take up to 4 weeks so we ask for your patience while we create your patterns. When we are finished we will call you to schedule your tattoo appointment.
Due to the great sacred and spiritual significance of these patterns, we will only refer you to a tattooist that is well trusted by the tribe. If you are interested in having us design your artwork, we ask that you respect our rule and work with our devoted tattoo artists.
As we mentioned, the process can take up to 4 weeks, so we ask again for your patience and understanding as we construct a design unique to you and your family. We firmly stand in the belief that these tattoos are sacred and hold extensive meaning to the culture. These tattoos are not fashion statements. They are rooted in an ancient culture, they hold meaning to our identity and heritage. It’s a spiritual journey and we always give it the respect it deserves
Animal Chart for those unfamiliar with an animal that resembles their characteristics (click to enlarge)
Questionnaire (click to enlarge)
DUE TO THE LARGE NUMBER OF E-MAILS THAT WE RECEIVE, WE ASK THAT YOU PLEASE READ ALL PAGES OF THIS SITE TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY HAVE.
We charge by size and location of the tattoo on the body. Our goal is to make this art form accessible to all of our Filipino family. We understand that not all are rich, but most would agree that our prices are reasonable to have their storyline and ancestry tattooed on their skin. The work we put into the research and development of your patterns is extensive and intricate.
Profits from designs go directly to the tribe’s mission. We purchase antique relics, historical books, and fund field research and exhibitions. These things add up to be quite expensive. Many books you will find do not give much information and the ones that do can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
We predominately rely on books and artifacts more than the internet. This is because when you search “traditional Filipino tattoos” you will likely be flooded with a variety of patterns; many of which have been tainted by western influence. Books are much more trustworthy, but they range in price from hundreds to thousands of dollars. It is our goal to continue obtaining these books to better understand the extensive tattoos that have been lost to our people. Over the last 20 years, we have been able to collect books and artifacts for all Filipinos tribes. Our growing library helps the community be able to research information.
Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon has played a key part in the reviving of Traditional Filipino Tattoos and we’ve worked hard to know these tattoo patterns. We’ve searched for and bought antique books and funded exhibits throughout the world for Filipino communities to appreciate. If you are interested in receiving tribal tattoos, we ask you to recognize our attempt to ease the process for you. All we ask is that you answer a few questions so we that may do the research and study the patterns that fit your ancestral story. This is a great way to connect with your family’s past.
WHY DOES THE TRIBE CHARGE SEPARATELY FOR DESIGNING AND TATTOOING?
The tribe is responsible for researching patterns and creating a chart design. The tattooist is responsible for applying those patterns on the skin. Separate work, separate fees.
Many people prefer to get tattooed with a machine rather than the old fashion way of tapping. We like to practice the traditional method; as it’s more sacred and connects the tattooist and the person getting tattooed to the ancestor’s spirit. We had an elder from the Cordillera Mountains tell us that this technique is only to be done on people who we believe have really earned it. We must give it a proper ceremony and ritual, otherwise the tattoo will become an empty vessel, hollow and without meaning.
From the start, we give you a choice and explain the situation. Most people understand the significance and choose the machine over of the traditional method. They too give respect to the elders’ advice about not practicing something so sacred unless the person has achieved something worth the ceremony.
We typically only use the traditional method when tattooing tribe members since we use the title & color rank system like back in the day. As they move up in rank they are decorated with tattoos. We tap the tattoo on tribe members who have achieved something great, respectfully following the tradition and words of the Lakays (elders). For this reason, it is customary that the tribe exclusively refers out to tattooists that are well trusted. They generally use machines since many do not want to go through the trials of joining the tribe. However, we want to emphasize that a tribal tattoo done by machine is still sacred, important and meaningful. We appreciate peoples interest and commitment to the cause and this movement of reviving our culture.
We ask that you do not copy the patterns of the tattoos given here as well as the tattoos from our other pages. These tattoos have actual meanings that are specifically made for the person wearing them. Each pattern and design depict their own personal stories of their lives and ancestry, NOT YOURS!!! “Research your own roots and water your own tree.”
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