Lane Wilcken is a scholar, cultural tattoo practitioner and advocate for the the critically endangered practice of "batok" or cultural tattoos of the Philippines. He also has studied other related indigenous traditions of the Philippines and greater Pacific with nearly three decades of research and experience.
The author of "Filipino Tattoos Ancient to Modern" and "The Forgotten Children of Maui," he is also a contributing writer to "Back from the Crocodile's Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory" and "Shamanic Transformations: True Stories of the Moment of Awakening," as well as several articles for various magazines and journals.
Lane is also an artisan of ancient technology & art, widely recognized by the Filipino-American community as a "mambabatok," a cultural tattoo practitioner only using ancient hand-tapped tattoo techniques. He makes all his own tools, many of which are now extinct in the Philippines. Lane's practice is spiritual and includes meditation and prayer before composing batok (tattoo) arrangements according to the designs and symbols of a person's specific ethnic group and their personal experience. The actual application of the batok is done as ritual, with chants, food offerings and prayers as part of the process.