What is Yantra Tattooing?
Yantra Tattooing or also known as Sak Yant is a form of sacred tattooing commonly practised in Thailand. The tattoos are associated with animist beliefs which were popular in Thailand before the arrival of Buddhism. Sak Yant dates back to Angkor times and the art is greatly influenced by Khmer culture. In fact the blessings are written in a Khmer script called Khom. Sak Yant designs are normally tattooed by Maw Pii or spiritual doctors and Buddhist monks.
Yantra tattoos are believed to be magic and bestow mystical powers, protection or good luck. Some claim that the tattoo can protect a person from physical harms and illnesses as long as they follow certain rules. Yantra tattoos are very popular among Muay Thai fighters and military people.
Invisible Tattoos in Thailand
Another form of Yantra tattoo is the invisible tattoos, which are created by invisible oils. These cannot be seen by naked human eye but the power of the tattoos is in the blessing itself.
In recent years, the invisible tattoo gains its popularity over the visible tattoos, which are commonly associated with Thai gang members. The invisible tattoo offers spiritual protection without the social stigma attachment. Business men and politicians can have invisible tattoos without fear of damaging their reputations.
Angelina Jolie has Yantra tattoos
Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie received two Yantra tattoos in Bangkok on her two visits to Thailand. Famous Thai tattoo master, Ajarn Noo Kamphai is a former Buddhist monk who tattooed the first Cambodian script on Angelina Jolie’s left shoulder. On a return visit Angelina went back to Ajarn Noo Kamphai to have the enormous tiger tattooed on her lower back.
Ajarn Noo Kamphai (‘ajarn’ meaning ‘teacher’ in Thai) is a practitioner of Thai magic and is well known for his tiger tattoos, which are believed to protect the wearer from harm. After tattooing, he will bless the tattoos and the wearer. Unfortunately, Ajarn Noo Kamphai rarely tattoos people himself anymore. However, he has four disciples whose work is almost identical to his.
By : associatedcontent
According to an earlier AFP Yahoo news report, the Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat told the media that Thailand has ordered a crackdown on tourists with religious images tattooed on their bodies while visiting Thailand.
The traditional tattoo in Thailand is called “Sak Yant”. It is quite difficult to pinpoint the exact origins of this art as it is so old the history has almost been lost. Many countries have laid claim to the birth of this ancient art, but it is believed to have originated from the Khmer period approximately 3,000 years ago. Proof of the age of the tattoo in the form of mummies, have been discovered in and around the Philippines sporting Bamboo tattoos which are still visible.
The word ‘Tattoo’ comes from the Tahitian word ‘Tattau, which means ‘to mark’ and was first mentioned in records written by the explorer James Cook in 1769 during his expedition the South Pacific.