Traditional Thai Tattoo ("Yan Ha Tel")


Traditional  Thai Tattoo (

After a 3.5 hour flight from Taiwan to Bankok Thailand then a 5 hour ride to Phetchabun Thailand I finaly get my Sak Yant tattoo by a monk at his temple. Though tattooing traditions of the Pacific Islands are the longest unbroken ones in the world, there are plenty of traditions of significance in other cultures. For example, Sak-Yant tattoos are sacred amulets worn on the skin. They are protective tattoos, using what translates as sacred geometry (yantra in Sanskrit). These tattoos are often seen in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, but originated in Thailand from a melding of Hindu and Buddhist imagery and beliefs.
The Sak Yant are traditionally applied by Buddhist monks and magic practitioners. Sak Yant requires training in Meditation, Concentration and also Khom magical language and kata. A serious practise of Vipassana is normally the way to attainment of the necessary abilities to make Sak Yant magic, and the Katas work effectively. The magical properties of the Sak Yant are only effective for the wearer if certain modes of conduct are followed which involve clean living and sobriety. The specifics are told to the person getting tattooed at the time of application and vary according to the master doing the tattooing.
There is evidence of these tattoos existing as long as 1,000 years ago. Sak Yant are applied using a bamboo stick sharpened to a point, or with a needle at the end, and each dot is a single perforation of the skin. The tattoos take many forms, including script and images, but are always applied above the waist. During the application the tattoo master must chant to make the protective magic of the tattoo.

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Comments (4)

  • Lacekiss7_small

    suze said on July 17, 2012

    That is awesome and an awesome story

  • Tatt_small

    yesterdaisy said on September 15, 2010


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    justin308 said on November 1, 2009

    I was able to pick my design with out any problems.......

  • Img_0355_small

    quatrilien said on November 1, 2009

    Awesome! Did you get to choose the design you wanted from the temple or were you assigned to a design?

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on November 1, 2009

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