July 16, 2013

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TATTOO TUESDAYS

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Bangkok Photographer Cedric Arnold, recently did a series called “Sacred Ink”. Enjoy the photos.

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A body, used as a canvas, every inch of skin filled with sacred text and figures of mythical creatures, all forming a protective shield. A boxer, a monk, a construction worker, a police man, a soldier, a taxi driver, a shipyard worker, a shaman, a tattoo master; men, women and their inked protection from evil spirits and bad luck. Enter the world of Thailand’s spiritual “yantra” tattoo tradition.

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For centuries, Thai men have covered their bodies with protective tattoos. Old temple murals show epic scenes of swords breaking apart when hitting a tattooed soldier’s skin. The tradition has been handed down generations of both monks and laymen who create the tattoos and empower them with special prayers.

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The ink (believed to be a secret combination of Chinese ink, snake venom, potent herbs, and ash) is applied with repeated fast jabs of the needle, which is about 40cm long ad has a tip resembling that of a fountain pen.

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