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Ancestral Connections: Cultural Identity – Conf. Room 6119

April 7 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm


In pre-colonial Philippines, tribal symbols were proudly worn as tattoos to represent one’s family, roles in the community, conquests and triumphs, coming-of-age accomplishments, and more. Sadly the practice was deemed barbaric by colonizers and slowly died over the centuries. Today, with the resurgence of cultural pride and a yearning to understand identity—modern Filipinos globally have been working to revive the ancient practice. As a Filipina-American and Philippine tribal art practitioner, it was only when I learned about my ancestors’ tribal artwork and joined the movement that I began to truly understand my own cultural identity.

Through this workshop, participants will learn about the lifestyles and history of ancestral Filipinos, their use of tribal symbols, their connections to indigenous communities globally, and their relevance to contemporary Philippine culture. They will then be guided to create art pieces that represent their individual stories—their family, their career, their identity, their past, present, and future. Multimedia paper and art supplies will be provided. Participants will leave this workshop with a piece of art to take home as well as a renewed sense of passion to preserve the artistic world our ancestors created.

  • Katrina Villavicencio is a Filipina-American artist, designer, and illustrator based in Maryland. She is passionate about storytelling through a creative lens and using ethical design to uplift marginalized and underrepresented voices. She has been researching and experimenting with indigenous Filipino art themes for over 10 years, and feels most connected to her family and culture when exploring these themes. She has sold Filipino-related artwork at festivals and events, hosted tattoo henna workshops, and is a contributing author for a cookbook about migrant Filipino chefs. You can view her art and stories at trinacenci.com.


April 7
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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6th Floor – Conference Room – 6119
2100 M St NW
Washington, DC 20037 United States


Trina Cenci
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