Apparently in Thailand there is something called sak yant. Yantric tattooing, as it is called, is the practice of creating geometrical designs of animals, deities or shapes that have magical properties. What kind of magic? Charms of protection, good fortune, power, charisma and more. It’s like a good luck charm that permanently stays in your skin. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work.
Khachon Cherdchoo was a Thai tattoo artist who was apparently pretty famous for his craft. Authorities said he travelled often to do work on celebrities and even went abroad as he was in such high demand. Apparently his work was meant to bestow protection from harm and, according to some reports, make you invincible. You know, because magic tattoos.
The tattoos are traditionally most popular amongst people in dangerous professions – soldier, law enforcement and, ironically, gangsters. Naturally this has become popular with actors as well, and Angelina Jolie even has one. There’s no Asian spiritualism Hollywood can’t try to make trendy.
The tattooing practice and the beliefs behind them are very much tied to spirituality and religion in Asia where the practice is well over 2000 years old and is traditionally done not with a needle but a long, metal rod sharpened to appoint. So basically it sounds like you really earn one of these tattoos if you get it done the traditional way.
The style of tattooing is actually very cool and very detailed, as you can see in these examples;
Despite offering tattoos meant to protect the owners, Cherdchoo himself either didn’t have one or the dude botched it as he was recently gunned down on his way home from work. Police arrested three people in connection with the shooting and a 4th man, the actual shooter, is still being hunted. The police didn’t offer up much of a motive so far, except to say that Cherdchoo may have been involved in a local dispute with others in his community. Whether than means tattoo community or the neighborhood is up to interpretation, but either way is still unfortunate for Cherdchoo.