Hey Bali visitors and the rest,
Have you been glued to a surfboard (righteous, broheem!) orrr a screen for most of 2018 (sorry to hear that, but same here and 2019 promises to be better. Then this may come as a surprise.
We’re proud to share something that most of Asia and maybe the world already knows:
Indonesian heritage tattooing customs are not going to fade away and die. Not today, not yet. The Pantang Iban Revival is happening right now and it’s awesome. Through some mystical power or social media link, it’s probably what brought you to this blog post.
Of all the indigenous groups making tattoos by hand for generations in Borneo, Indonesia, one tribe has been featured dominantly in English language media for decades – Iban Headhunters.
Heard that phrase before, right? Perhaps that’s why getting bunga terong markings or other Bornean tattoo designs hasn’t become as mainstream as other (more inviting) Asian tattoo experiences.
Where to get Tribal Dayak Hand Tapping
Go to a shaman in Kalimantan (Borneo) or Mentawai with a guide.
Tattoo model Sofi Chi did exactly that. In November 2018, Balm Tattoo Indonesia invited her to travel from Bali, the equatorial beach tourist haunt where she and the Balm ID team are based, to a remote Sumatran archipelago for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a local shaman.
Tribal Tattoo Hand Tapping Ritual in Mentawai
What is Dragon’s Blood Butter?
Tattoo artists in Bali: you need this. Before, we only knew this BALM TATTOO product for its alluring packaging. There is so much more to like.
In absolute admiration of this mega-babe tattoo model, our gut feeling tells us it’s probably worthwhile to try to copy anything or everything Sofi Chi does.
Sofi’s in good company among celebrities who’ve famously gotten handmade tattoos in the dangerous jungles of Borneo; Anthony Keidis of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chef Anthony Bourdain, RIP. If your name is Tony, then this is definitely the way to go.
Good luck finding a guide and enjoy the ride.
Go to Hends Dyak in Bali.
Something this popular among local industry experts has gotta be good.
The Bali Tattoo Artist Tattooing the Others
In November 2018, Hends Dyak tattooed two Bali tattoo artists who are originally from Kalimantan (Borneo) like him.
Face to face with Hends Dyak, finally!
After months of anticipation, we’ve finally befriended Mr. In-Demand and got our interview.
TATTLAS: How are you? Can I ask you about your recent work for the guys at Due Hatue Tattoo Studio? I know Fuad as @fuu.ttt on Instagram. What’s his twin’s name? Sod-dog? He has @sod.the.dog and @sdgttt for his trad tattoos.
HENDS DYAK: Good to meet you too. Yes, I’m happy to be part of the Tattlas blogs. Shiddiq (real name Sodog).*
TATTLAS: What is the meaning of these neck tattoos?
HD: Pantang Rekung / Uker degok is an Iban tattoo design placed on the throat of Iban men for identification and to distinguish between upstream – downstream Iban or between other Iban and Dayaks during tribal war or head hunting.
TATTLAS: How long did it take?
HD: 3 hours maximum.
*TATTLAS days later: By the way he’s called Soddog… real name Shiddiq.
As a generalization, Dayak tattoos historically symbolized achievements for warriors, hunters and artisans.
About HENDS DYAK
A real local expert on Indonesian hand tapping, someone should write a book called ‘Herpianto Hendra “Hends Dyak” and the Pantang Iban Revival.’
Hends is an authority on traditional hand tapping, spiritual Dayak symbolism and Indonesian tribal heritage and culture. He has appeared in several international publications and is a celebrity guest at worldwide tattoo expos.
I want to be featured!
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