Tibetan Calligraphy

Sak Yant, the art of sacred tattoos in Thailand

Sak Yant has its roots in Buddhism, animism or even Brahmanism

If there is one country where the tattoo has become a sacred art, it is Thailand. Well-known from tattoo enthusiasts, the Sak Yant is a complex system. Its roots provide in Buddhism, animism or even Brahmanism.

Its iconography is composed of charts, sacred formulas and also pictures that can either be deities or animals. The grounds, yantras, are talismans that, in the spirit of the person receiving the tattoo, will protect them from diseases, misfortunes of all kinds but also more surprisingly, the bullets that could reach the tattooed!

The Thai tattooist will give the tattoo a magical breath

The position of the tattoo artist, as in Japan or China, is paramount. Where, in Japan, it is common that the tattoo artist puts his signature as a bullet at the center of his work (a.k.a the tattooed person!), the Thai tattooist will in turn “activate” the tattoo by giving it a magical breath; this incantation, which is named khru sak, will forever link the artist and the tattooed person.

Adaptation in a Tibetan calligraphy tattoo

Highlighted by Angelina Jolie in the 90s, the tattoo is now well known in the artistic fields; in Tibetan calligraphy, it meets its equivalent performed on a multi-column, for translating a long text (see the page dedicated to it).

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