Pour le confort de l’utilisateur, le contenu est affiché ci-dessous dans une autre langue. Vous pouvez cliquer le lien pour changer de langue active.


 
  
The Tattoo Culture in Asia
 
Tattooing is an ancient art form, many cultures around the world were tattooing long before there were electric tattoo machines. Though no one place can be identified as having originated this form of body art, tattoos have been discovered on mummies and in art from ancient cultures across the world with the oldest physical example of a tattoo found on the body of Ötzi the Iceman, who was found frozen in Otztal Alps between Italy and Austria, which dates from at least 3100 BC.
Tattooing has been practiced throughout Asia for thousands of years for reasons as varied as religious practices, beauty, rites of passage and for spiritual protection. Famous Polynesian tribal tattoo motifs are called Tatau, Thailand’s religious script tattoos go by Sak Yant and tattooing by hand in Japan is known as Tebori.
Today, more and more people accept and even embrace tattooing as body art, a form of self-expression and personal identity. Many of the traditional styles and practices remain and may even be open to travellers with cultural respect and understanding to explore. For many societies, tattooing has left its mark more than skin deep on the history and culture of diverse and different civilizations throughout the ages. In this week’s newsletter let’s take a look at five unique tattoo styles from across Asia.
 



 

READ ALL
 



 
_________
 
 



 


 
Dayak ‘Tutang’ Tattoos
Indonesia
One of Asia’s most renowned traditional tattoos comes from Indonesia. The island of Borneo is home to the forest dwelling Dayak people. This tribal group has a long-celebrated tattoo tradition.
 
For the Dayak tribe, a tattoo is a sacred thing. A tattoo for the Dayak is a message to their God that identifies them and the deeds of their life, and if all’s well with the stories told by their tattoos, they are the key to the afterlife. Each tattoo design has a meaning directly based on their experience and their life’s journey. Known as a ‘Tutang’, the placement of each mark is carefully considered and planned. As is their belief, the black colored tattoo will turn to gold when they pass away and is considered as their key to the path of eternity. The traditional tattoo designs employed by the Dayak are blessed with magical powers of protection, protecting the wearer from the influence or effects of bad spirits. Tattoos are also an indication of the wearers’ prowess as a fighter in the traditional Dayak martial art of ‘Kinyah’ (…)
 

Discover our Collection in Indonesia
 



 
_________
 
 



 


 
Chi Shen
China
The Chinese art of ‘Chi Shen’ or ‘puncturing the body’ is an ancient one. The oldest Asian tattoos have been discovered on the Tarim mummies from Xinjian, Western China and the Pazyryk mummies from the Ukok Plateau in Siberia. These early tattoos are considered to be a symbol of social status in most instances, but some tattoos were also likely designed to be spiritual and magical in nature with designs drawing inspiration from nature and tribal mythology.
Some tribes, such as the Dai and Dulong, used to tattoo their women’s faces to make them less desirable to attackers from outside. The women of these tribes still continue to wear their tattoos today, although ironically they are celebrated and worn now as a symbol of female beauty and strength.
 
Among the Dai, tattoos are used for a wide range of reasons and are quite visible all over the body. These tattoos are considered a rite of passage, so the people of these tribes get their tattoos quite young, usually in their teens (…)
 

Discover our Collection in China
 



 
_________
 
 



 


 
Irezumai
 Japan
 
Irezumi are Japanese tattoos, the roots of which can be traced back centuries. Scholars have argued for their evidence as far back as the Jōmon period (14,000 – 300 BCE), with the practice growing in popularity during the Edo Period (1603 – 1867). Japanese tattoos often use imagery that is quite terrifying, such as roaring tigers and dragons, as they are also meant to provide the wearer with protection. These tattoos also feature a backdrop made out of waves, smoke, or similarly fluid designs, and will also incorporate floral patterns into the design which adds a delicate look to these tattoos. When tied together, the patterns in an Irezumi are truly a beautiful and intricate sight to behold!
The art form eventually took on a negative reputation however, due to the practice of criminals being marked as a form of punishment and the association of tattoos with criminality as a result. Japanese criminal gangs such as the Yakuza then adapted their tattoos into works of art and celebrations of their outlaw status typically with full sleeve, back, chest and leg tattoos (…)
 

Discover our Collection in Japan
 



 
_________
 
 



 
 
Sak Yant
 Thailand/Laos/Cambodia
 
Thailand’s famous hand-tapped tattoos have become highly sought after by backpackers and celebrities alike, many of whom travel to the country specifically to get one. But the ancient tradition has deep roots that run throughout the history of Southeast Asia.
The art form is also practiced in Laos and Cambodia and usually sees a Buddhist monk or Ajarn creating a freehand design that incorporates geometry, symbols, deities and animal figures. The long-held belief is that these tattoos bestow magical protection onto the wearer, depending on how the monk creates it and what spells the artwork is charged with, and different designs are made for different types of protection and luck.
 
The tattoos come with a set of guidelines to live by that help keep the magic working. Some may be easier for most to follow (refraining from violence, for instance) while other, more idiosyncratic ones passed down from Buddhist teachers (do not eat pumpkin or any other gourd-like vegetable or do not duck under a banana tree) may seem curious to travellers (…)
 



 
_________
 
 



 


 
Indian Tribal Tattoos
 India
 
Indian tribal tattoos predominantly use geometric patterns in their designs. These patterns are also very evident in their traditional embroidery and art. Tattooing among women in Indian tribes was very common, while tattoos for men were usually earned through some manly accomplishment, such as their hunting skill or warrior prowess.
While in many parts of India tribal tattoos have various purposes including spiritual and decorative, in some tribes such as the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, it was a way to protect women from being abducted or raped by the men from rival tribes, much like the early tribal tattoos from the Middle East and China (…)
 
The women of the Khond tribe of Orissa, referred to as ‘the people of the spirit world‘, wear geometric tribal tattoos on their face as they believe this will allow them to recognize each other in the spirit world.
 

Discover our Collection in India
 



 
_________
 
 



 
Booking your trip with Secret Retreats guarantees you the very best experiences at the very best prices. Our Travel Teams are all on the ground local people, and as travel professionals they are keen to share all the secrets of their fascinating Asian homes with you in building your tailor-made travel itinerary.
 



 
...to start planning your Asian journey
 





 
_________
 
 



 
In Partnership With:
 





 
 Having trouble viewing this document ? Access online version here.
If you do not want to receive this newsletter, unsubscribe here.
 



 
©SECRET RETREATS 2022 • Unveil the essence of Asia
 


Newsletters Archive

202220212020201920182017

Voyagez au cœur de l’Asie avec Secret Retreats

Secret Retreats est une communauté d'hôtels de charme indépendants, de villas, de croisières en mer ou sur les fleuves d’Asie, dont les propriétaires partagent tous une même passion du voyage, de leurs cultures et traditions et aiment à les faire découvrir de manière responsable. Cette volonté de préserver l'environnement, la culture et les traditions dans lesquels nous vivons ici est essentielle pour nous tous dans un monde où le danger est l’uniformisation et le non-respect. Professionnels de l'hôtellerie aux valeurs communes, nous souhaitons vous offrir des expériences de voyages authentiques et originaux qui vous feront découvrir l'essence même de l'Asie.

Laissez-nous vous inspirer et prendre soin de votre portefeuille en même temps!
Réservez directement avec Secret Retreats et partez en toute tranquillité avec notre assistance sur le terrain. Contactez nos conseillers voyages et planifiez avec eux un voyage inoubliable en en Asie!