Sak Yant Tattoo
Sak Yant Tattoo
The Sak Yant tattoo is a tattoo which is done by monks in Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia. A genuine Sak Yant tattoo must be applied by a genuine monk. It is not something which can be applied in a tattoo shop.
In Thailand the word for Tattoo is Sak and the word Yant means Sacred. So Sak Yant is Sacred Tattoo.
The reason why is that the Sak Yant tattoo is holy and said to pass on some magical properties to the person who has the tattoo. There are a number of traditional designs. The inks themselves are made up of special ingredients and said to contain oils from the fats of certain animals as well as distillations of various plants. The Sak Yant Tattoo is not applied by the familiar electric needles seen in a traditional tattoo shop. In the temple the Sak is applied with a bamboo cane. The monk will usually chant a spell whilst the Sak is applied. The design is written in Khmer and not normally in Thai.
The sacred tattoo has many beliefs and legends surrounding it and its tradition is lost in the mists of time. Some people today believe it will help protect against illness and disease, impart strength or irresistibility to the opposite sex. They are also believed to give protection from bullets and help prevent injury in traffic accidents.
Although there are many designs of Sak Yant tattoos there are two types. There is the visible and the invisible.
Though the invisible is popular with all it is especially the case with Thai ladies who, in the main, do not like to have tattoos as they have a degree of social stigma attached. They do though wish to have the magical properties which the Sak Yant Tattoo bestows. This causes just a few complications because monks are not allowed to touch women. Certain specialist monks can do these tattoos without body contact. Although visible when first applied they disappear in a few days.
Due to a wish to imitate some pop and Hollywood stars there is popular demand for the Sak Yant tattoo and those monks who are especially good at the design are said to command quite a high price for the work.