Results tagged “Yantra tattooing”

08:38 PM

Yantra: The Sacred Ink from Cedric Arnold on Vimeo.

Two weeks ago, I put up this post on Cedric Arnold's "Yantra: The Sacred Ink,"  which is, as I previously wrote, an exceptionally beautiful series of portraits and documentary photography -- a product of four and a half years of travel throughout Thailand to fully explore Yantra, or Sak Yant. Yantra are sacred marks performed by monks in Thailand in which the wearers believe that the tattoos are imbued with magic, offering protection and even bestowing certain powers.

Showing the tattooing process and ceremonies attached to the tradition, Cedric Arnold recently posted this 4:34 minute documentary short (embedded above), which uses footage shot between 2008 and 2014, and includes incredibly powerful scenes of "Khong Khuen," states of trance that tattooed devotees enter when "possessed" by the spirit of their tattoos, as Arnold writes.

The full version of the film will be released online at a later date, and is currently being screened at the "Tatoueurs, tatoues" exhibit at the Museum du quai Branly in Paris until Oct 2015.

For more info, visit "Yantra: The Sacred Ink."

02:48 PM
Yesterday, a number of news agencies, including the Global Post, reported that Thailand's Ministry of Culture is considering a ban on tattooing sacred Buddhist and Hindu symbols on foreign tourists. The National News Bureau of Thailand offered this explanation:

Citing a survey in Phuket Island, Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat admitted that a number of foreigners coming to Thailand are interested in having their skin tattooed with Buddha images or Hindu god Ganesh in several parts of their bodies such as arms, legs, ankles or chests.

The Minister indicated that using religious objects as tattoo patterns is inappropriate according to the Thai tradition and culture as well as affect the faith of people toward those religions.

Religious tattoo patterns are very popular among foreign tourists and can be as expensive as 20,000 baht each. Some of the tourists deem religious tattoo patterns a fashion without any religious respect while some probably have those tattoos because of ignorance.

The Minister has asked provincial governors across Thailand, especially in popular tourist areas, for their cooperation in cracking down on religious tattoos on foreigners. As noted in the Phuket Gazette, this won't be an easy task. Tattoos on tourists is big business with some costing over upwards of 20,000 baht (over $650).

There's also the issue that many of the tourists could indeed be Buddhist or Hindu themselves. I personally know many who have traveled to Thailand specifically for a sacred Yantra (or Sak Yant) tattooing. One such person is Father Panik who offered a guest blog on his experience seeking Sak Yant last year. He also shared a few photos like the ones shown here.

For more on Yantra, check this site, which has extensive links and photos.
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