The Sak Yant Traditional Tattoo

Posted by on January 17, 2010

The Sak Yan is a traditional tattoo that is done in Southeast Asian Countries, such as Thailand and Cambodia. Also known as “Magic Tattoos”, there are usually given with meaning behind it. Sak meaning “to tap” and Yant derived from Yantra meaning “sacred Geometric design”.  You might recognize it from the one on Angelina Jolie’s tattoos. Remember, just because a star gets a tattoo does not mean someone else gets one. Usually a star does not influence a person to get a tattoo design. The Sak Yant is a tattoo that one gets that has a prayer or a blessing over the person it is on. Remember try not to insult a person when looking at their tattoo by saying “Oh, you got that because (insert celebrities name) got it?” This can be an insult to the person who wears it.

For centuries the Buddhist monks would give this tattoo and today can only give it to men. Some tattoo artist in will place the tattoo on a female but a true Buddhist Monk is forbidden from giving the ink to a female. Later I will be doing a story of a female who received a Sak Yant from a tattoo artist who used to study the Buddhist Religion. The artist himself has an amazing story. He used to be a gangster over in Thailand and when he ran into trouble he was given the opportunity to become a Monk. With the plea bargain his mother was able to get for him. During his journey of becoming a Monk he found an interest in tattooing that he decided to become a tattoo artist instead. I have included photos of the tools used to.

I am trying to start a page with different types of tattoos which will include the meaning and origin.  If you have ideas or a type of tattoo you would like featured, please contact me with the information using my “Contact Me” page on the right.

Also if you would like to be featured on my page use the “Contact Me” page as well. I would like to do a write up for you.

The Tattoo kit is from Myanmar and the tattoo from Thailand, but the writing is Khmer (ancient Cambodian)

Last modified on April 22, 2011

Categories: Behind the Ink, Types of Tattoo

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9 Responses to “The Sak Yant Traditional Tattoo”

  1. Bikrdiva Says:

    Nice Job!!! ;-D

  2. Maria aka PartyGurle Says:

    Pretty cool….I always wondered about that. Is it the same design on all??

  3. Steven B Says:

    No, Some have different designs. Some Circular in shape, but they all are ether a blessing or a prayer. I have also heard that you have to be careful who gives you that tattoo as there are Dark monks who can put a hex or a spell on you.

  4. Steven B Says:

    Thank You, I am glad you enjoyed the read. This story will be followed up by a Lady who actually has a Sak Yant.

  5. Spencer Says:

    Very nice article and that’s a nice picture of a Burmese “Mai Sak” (or alternatively named “Khem Sak”)
    (i mean the tattooing stick – thats what it is called in Thai).
    If you need any more pics you can contact me as i have a great number of pics of sak yant related matters.

  6. Steven B Says:

    I would love to not only see more photos but also find out more about this tradition.

  7. betty Says:

    hello to all someone can ‘help? live in Italy and I need someone to help me create a sakyant for me … where can I go beyond that in Thailand?? Thank

  8. liza Says:

    Hello, i’m quoting Betty, as i have the same request:

    hello to all someone can ‘help? live in Italy and I need someone to help me create a sakyant for me … where can I go beyond that in Thailand?? Thank

  9. Steven B Says:

    Betty and Liza I would try a Buddhist Temple. My Wife is Thai and her mom told me to try there first. If you know of any around your area you could inquiry there. Let me know if you find one and Ill post it here.