The PINTADOS collection is inspired by the ancient tattoo rituals of the Visayas Islands in the Philippines. The precolonial Visayans, known as the Pintados –“painted ones”– so called by the invading Spaniards because of their heavily tattooed bodies, were voyaging warriors with a rich tradition of tattoo rituals called "pagbabatuk". Both men and women were heavily tattooed for different reasons: for men, they were marks of their skill and bravery in battle; for women, they were symbols of beauty and fertility.
More than just decorative designs, the myriad of symbols ritually inked on our ancestors each had a special meaning, as did their placement on the body. The symbols were chiefly inspired by nature and included motifs like the sun, mountains, and crocodile scales. The number of tattoos a warrior had increased with every battle he fought or the number of kills he made. Facial tattoos were reserved only for the fiercest of warriors.
In the Pintados collection, traditional tribal tattoo motifs are rendered in intricately inlaid seashells and reimagined as bold statement jewelry. We do not use wild seashells in our jewelry. Instead, the seashells we use are cultured offcuts and waste salvaged from the Philippines' fashion and furniture industries. The Pintados collection seeks to share the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines with the world, and to imbue our wearers with the strength and fierceness of our ancestors.