With some 2,500 posts in the archives, the connections that people make through this blog are becoming really interesting… On one level, readers add so much with comments that collectively add so much more data or to nearly every post. This is particularly true for food items or dishes I am not familiar with, or regional dishes, or just things that others find common, while I do not. On another level, a growing number of varied groups of users frequent the site as a first stop reference, the modern result of googling a particular word… if you google “dalandan” or “mangosteen jam” or “pinakbet” or “sinigang” or “inasal na manok” or “lechon” or “littuko”, the number one or two result is a post on marketmanila.com. So I was only mildly surprised when I received an email late last year asking about my photos of littuko or rattan fruit in a post I wrote in July 2007, here.
The email was from Mr. Lars Krutak, popularly known as the “Tatoo Hunter” on the Discovery Channel, but formerly an archaeologist/anthropologist and tattoo specialist associated with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. It seems that at that point in time, my photo of rattan fruit was one of the few on the internet, if not the only one, so he was asking permission to use the photo in a book he was writing. Turns out Mr. Krutak has had an interest in the ancient and tribal tattoos of the Kalinga and other Mt. Province tribes of the North, and has written several articles here and here. They are fascinating. And he was finally going to turn his research into a book, with the final title being “Kalinga Tattoo: Ancient & Modern Expressions of the Tribal” that was supposed to have been published in the Spring but which I gather is delayed and will be coming out in a few weeks time. An article about the upcoming book was written here.
So what’s the connection? It seems the unique snakeskin like pattern of the peel on the rattan fruit or littuko, is the basis for one of the tattoo patterns used extensively by the Kalinga. And their penchant for tattoos goes back hundreds and hundreds of years… Isn’t that just kinda cool? I thought it was. And I like the whole headhunter aspect of the story. I could definitely have been a headhunter in an earlier life. :) Of course I immediately gave permission for the use of the photo(s) and provided high-resolution images and only asked that marketmanila.com be used as the source. This is true for nearly EVERY SINGLE SIMILAR request I have received over the years, as photos of abaca fiber, duhats, produce, dishes, etc. have all been provided free of charge to students, authors, producers, etc. as long as proper attribution to the source was provided. It’s the folks that STEAL material that piss me off…
At any rate, when I saw this fairly long vine of rattan fruit at the market yesterday, I decided to buy it and take more photographs because I realized that one of the unintended benefits of maintaining this blog is that it has built up a fairly large storehouse of photos and information of various types of foods, local produce, and assorted silliness that may just be of use to other folks around the country and the world. :)
P.S. If you live in Albay and have your new telephone directory from PLDT, can you please email me if there is a photo of fresh pili nuts on the cover and if so, who the photo is attributed to inside the directory? I haven’t seen it myself. Thanks. :)