Sep200904
'Magic' Tattoos in Cambodia
12:22 PM
cambodia tattoo.jpg
I was going to keep this story for Monday's news review but I'm posting it now to leave you this weekend with some tattoo magic, that is, tattoos in Cambodia that are viewed as "supernatural armor against all kinds of harm."

Yesterday, The Global Post featured John Maloy's extensive article and beautiful photos by Vin Dao on traditional hand-poked tattoos performed by monks and "magic men" on soldiers to protect them in battle -- protections that include being impervious to bullets or landmines, and being invisible to the enemy.

The article describes the tattoo technique, designs ... and most interestingly, the "rules" to keep your magic potent like basic ideals of not stealing or committing adultery, but also more arbitrary rules of not eating dog meat and refraining from urinating and defecating at the same time. That's right, no protection for tandem pee-ers and poopers.

Today, however, there are less tattoos on Cambodian soldiers, some say, because of looser morals. One magic man tattooer explains:

"During the fighting, most of the fighters were powerful -- the magic worked. But with peace, many came to the cities and starting drinking, sleeping with girls and the magic has faded away."

...

"I decided to stop giving the tattoos because I cannot trust the young people these days. If they had tattoos they'd probably fight. Before, we thought about the liberation of our country. We had a good spirit."


Check the whole fascinating article and photos here.

And may your weekend be filled with good spirit.
2 Comments

WHAT IS THE LOCATION OF MAGIC TATTOS IN CAMBODIA



This is very similar to the traditional tattoos of thailand. What is interesting to note however is that the thais use khmer script which is the language of cambodia. They embraced cambodias art long ago and decided not to change the script due to its value.





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