Sak Yant as a Cross-Cultural Practice

Work thumb

Views: 47

All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2024, Common Ground Research Networks, All Rights Reserved

Abstract

Sak Yants are spiritual tattoos that originate from Southeast Asia. Based on an Instagram sample, this article examines the popularity of Sak Yants in the so-called West, as they clearly differ from other tattoo styles, for example, often emphasize less individuality and imply rules that the tattooee must follow to keep their power. Their cross-cultural adaptation can imply the risk of copies and changes, as well as the commodification of the spiritual art and a connection to eroticism to promote their marketing. Reasons for the cross-cultural fascination these tattoos exert lie in the belief in protection or a general desire for meaningfulness, the constant indexical connection to the master, the expression of cultural openness, and the feeling of community, as well as a holistic approach to the physical and spiritual. This is expressed through the ritual and the new spiritual status tied to certain behaviors. In conclusion, the millennia-old Sak Yant seems to correspond to a specific zeitgeist, connecting body and mind and enabling self-chosen connections to times and places.