Sacred Ink: Beautifully Intricate Traditional Thai Tattoos


In America, we don’t necessarily think of our tattoos as holy. Meaningful, perhaps, or simply beautiful, but mostly devoid of serious spiritual tradition on more than an individual level. Not so in Thailand, where the spiritual “Yantra” tattoo tradition merges sacred art with the bodies of the believers. Our friends at Lost at E Minor tipped us off to this amazing project by Cedric Arnold, a French and British photographer who divides his time between London and Bangkok. Arnold writes, “A chest etched with a fierce leaping tiger, a hand adorned with images of geckos on each finger, a back protected by a monkey God, or a shoulder inscribed with ancient Khmer text, sacred ink, believed to have mystical powers. Known in Thai as ‘sak yant’, the tattoos are a testament to the complex spiritual makeup of Thai society, incorporating elements of Buddhism, Animism, Brahmanism and Hinduism.” They are also beautiful to behold, and Arnold’s black and white photography does them perfect justice. Click through to see some of the photographs that blew us away, then make sure to click over to Arnold’s website for even more.