Tom Vater

Tom Vater

Irreverent, informed and downright eclectic crime fiction and reportage from Southeast Asia and beyond

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Sacred Skin – Airport Reading!

Airports in Ko Samui, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh all continue to stock Sacred Skin prominently.

The first illustrated Sak Yant book in English featuring detailed portraits of masters and devotees paired with an insightful text. Described in TIME as a book that “… will further popularize a centuries-old tradition.”

Sacred tattoos, called sak yant in Thailand, have been around Southeast Asia for centuries and are said to bestow protection from accidents, misfortunes and crime.
Every day, young men and women gather in temples and countless tattoo masters’ studios around the country to get inked: Tens of thousands of teenagers, motorcycle and taxi drivers, construction workers, night club bouncers, street vendors, factory employees, boxers and working girls – an entire strata of Thai society – are having a second, magical skin applied. Indian mythology, Buddhism, Brahmanism, animism and common superstition make for a colorful hotchpotch of religious ideas embedded into skin. For the wearers, the tattoos serve as reminders to follow a moral code endorsing positive behavior.

This book is an introduction to the sak yant, Thailand’s spirit tattoos, and the men and women who bring them to life on their skin.

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