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Welcome to SAK YANT Thai Tattoos
Thai Tattoos, we like to introduce you to the world of magical artistry called Sak Yant. Sak Yants are hand-poked tattoos, also known as “bamboo tattoos” or “Thai tattoos”, with each having a special meaning and purpose. When activated by blessing it unfolds their power, magic, and protection.
This ancient tattoo tradition already has a long history in Thailand. Nowadays Sak Yants have a mysterious appeal to westerners too and getting more and more popular.
But we also have found that Sak Yant meanings have many times been taken wrong and information was misinterpreted.
To avoid further misconceptions, we want to provide all the information we collected so far about Sak Yant history, different designs and meanings, the blessing, and also the Sak Yant rules. Furthermore, we like to introduce our Sak Yant Masters and our Sak Yant services to you.
Sak Yant SERVICE
We offer 3 different Sak Yant tattoo services at Bangkok Ink
The procedure to get your Sak Yant
Selecting a suitable Yant is very important, follow the link below.
There you will find a detailed list of Sak Yant designs & meanings
Learn more about
What does “Sak Yant” actually mean?
While the Thai word “Sak” means “to tap”, the Thai word Yant, derived from the Sanskrit word Yantra, which means instrument. A Yantra could be many things, for example, a sacred geometrical design, spell, or chanting that possesses magical powers.
So “Sak Yant” means “to tap out a Yant” or “to hand poke a tattoo” as it is often referred to.
What is bamboo hand poke style ?
As the name “bamboo hand poked style” implies, these tattoos are made by hand. With the help of a long stick, the Sak Yant Masters pierce the needles in the skin.
Once made from a sliver of bamboo the tattoo stick was called “Mai Sak”. Though the Sak Yant way of tattooing is still called “bamboo hand poked style” in order to remember the traditional way, nowadays the stick is a stainless steel rod called “Khem Sak”. The rod has a screw attachment at both ends. One is for the disposable tips (the fine needles that will penetrate your skin) while the other end is for various weights that can be added giving the rod a different feel for the Master.
What exactly is a Yant ?
Well according to research, a Yant is a sacred geometric design that includes ancient scriptures that are said to invoke spiritual and magical powers. Yants were in existence long before being tattooed on the skin, often they would be scribed onto a piece of cloth (Pha Yant) and displayed in the home, or rolled up in a small glass tube (Takrut) and worn around the neck. Another popular method of bearing a Yant was to wear a shirt with the Yant inscribed. Soldiers favored this and went into battle wearing Yant vests (Seu Yant).
What language are the Sak Yants in?
Sak Yants are written in Khata or Akara language. The Khata comes from the Pali word Ghata which means “speech” and it is what the west would call a Mantra or prayer. This is written in Khom script which is older than Khmer language and the characters are abbreviations for Khata or Mantra. These are recited (silently) by the Master as he works on the Yant.
Sak Yant History
The Yant or Yantra as a geometrical symbol has Hindu origins and was already being used in India for thousands of years. At that time Yantras came in the form of a piece of cloth, or even a shirt, to be worn to give protection. They were kept at home to ward off evil spirits. These Yants were incorporated into the Khmer culture and subsequent cultures as Siam was formed and then what is now known as Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.
The art of tattooing Yantras originated also in the Khmer Empire. Over 1,000 years ago, the designs, symbolism, and the writing of the ancient Khmer scripture have been adopted. Mainly they were used for fighters and warriors to give them strength, endurance and to protect them from injury or death. As time went by, the art of Sak Yant tattoo became entwined with Buddhism and is still mainly common in Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos.
Diversity has taken place among Thai tattoo designs
Each culture added something to this ancient tradition and diversity of Yantras has taken place over the years. There are literally thousands of Yants, each with its own special powers, different meanings, and all kinds of uses.
Due to the fact each Sak Yant Master has created or adapted his own version of a particular design, also Thailand’s Masters have made their own and become separate from others.
Therefore, let’s keep the interpretation from Thai Sak Yants separate from others and let the Thai Tattoo Masters itself tell us more about their purpose, meaning translation, and designs (which is different from Indian Sak Yant knowledge and history).
Thailand becomes the leading Sak Yant country
The popularity of Sak Yant grew steadily in Thailand. Mostly soldiers and Muay Thai fighters began to use Sak Yant as a form of protection when in combat. Muay Thai tattoo designs played a major role in taking Sak Yant into the eyes of the world as many Muay Thai fighters still bear protective Yants on their bodies. Sak Yants still play a big role in Thailand and seems to be growing in popularity among Thais. Today, everyone sees Thailand as the leading part of this sacred knowledge, and Sak Yants is also known as Thai Tattoos.
Thai Tattoos, Sak Yant already has a huge following worldwide
Centuries-old, the art of traditional bamboo hand-poked Thai Tattoos were all but unknown in the western world until a few years ago.
But nowadays Sak Yants have a mysterious appeal to westerners somehow and getting more and more attractive.
Thanks also to Angelina Jolie now Thai tattoos already have great popularity and a huge following worldwide. The Hollywood actress visited our Master, Ajarn Noo Ganpai in 2005 to receive her first Sak Yant and got more the following years.
What Sak Yants get used for?
Yants are mainly used for protection against danger, illness, unwanted spirits, bad fortune, physical harm, black magic, and spells. Furthermore, you could broadly split them into the following groups sorted by their purpose:
- Invincibility (Kong Krapan)
- Evasion / avoidance (Klaew Klaad)
- Good fortune or luck (Choke Laap)
- Attraction and charm (Maha Saneh)
- Likeability / preferential treatment (Medta Mah Niyom)
- Power/authority (Maha Amnat)
- To stun others into defeat or submission (Maha Jong Ngan)
Furthermore, Sak Yants are also used for gaining compassion and kindness, improving one’s power of belief or communication skills, and for other specific goals and desires.
Nothing quite compares with the life-changing experience of having a sacred Sak Yant Thai tattoo done by a really skilled Master, who learned this ancient knowledge over the years from his father or Sak Yant Master.
VIP Sak Yant SERVICE
Get tattooed by Grand Master Ajarn Ohr, the Number 1 in Thailand
We are proud to exclusively provide this unique V.I.P. service to Grand Master Ajarn Ohr at Bangkok Ink. You will get a traditional Sak Yant Thai tattoo from the no. 1 Master in Thailand.