I didn’t hear about Bamboo Tattoos before coming to Thailand, actually, I didn’t even plan to get a tattoo during my travels. But it happened…and it was a special experience that will stay with me forever.
Why is so special the Bamboo tattoo?
I’ve read after taking it that nowadays it’s pretty famous to have a Bamboo Tattoo in Thailand after some stars like Angelina Jolie promoted this kind of tattoo. I don’t follow these people, so I didn’t know about this trend but I really respect traditional things and I found it special helping to continue this technique. What’s different from the machine is that a bamboo tattoo is one that the tattoo artist carefully uses the bamboo stick to poke the needle into the skin repeatedly, injecting ink underneath the layer of skin to make the tattoo.
When and where did the Bamboo Tattoo appear?
We can say that this the most ancient form of tattooing and also can have spiritual connections. It’s hard to point exactly where this Bamboo tattoo was used for the first time, however, it is generally believed to have originated in the Khmer period around 3000 years ago. There have been mummies found in the Philippines with bamboo tattoos still visible, block bands around the calf with tribal hierarchy significance. In Thailand, bamboo tattooing began in the Buddhist temples, with monks receiving religious text tattoos from grandmaster monks for protection.
What are the main differences between the Bamboo tattoo and a machine tattoo?
They say that the Bamboo tattoo it’s less painful that the machine, I wouldn’t say it but I don’t have a high tolerance to pain so I’m not the best example. The Bamboo tattoo is applied by hand, slowly and precisely, it’s taking a long time but it causes less damage to the skin than tattooing by machine. That’s why it’s healing also faster, after three-four days in my case. However, the Bamboo tattoo is getting fade faster, but all the tattoos are getting fade sooner or later so I wouldn’t say it’s a big disadvantage.
How did I decide that I’ll have a Bamboo tattoo?
Thailand wasn’t in my traveling plan but in order to reach Myanmar from Laos, I had a stop in Chiang Mai. There I’ve met one of my friends that already had the idea to get a Bamboo tattoo and I’ve started to become interested. A few hours later, walking through the Sunday Market, we ended up in front of a Tattoo studio where we met a really cool, chill guy that listened with patience all the ideas of my friend. I liked his way to be and I said to myself that if I would want a tattoo, I’d prefer to have him as the artist. I saw his work and at some point, one little tree took my attention. I wanted for a long time to have jewelry with my tree of life but I didn’t find something for me. It seemed that it wasn’t meant to be jewelry but a tattoo, a Bamboo tattoo. I felt that it’s for me even if I didn’t draw it…it was a special feeling telling me that I’m in the right place with the right people. I didn’t think too much and I booked the tattoo for the next day. My tree of life is part of who I am and part of my connection with nature and the universe. I love trees, I feel sometimes that they have a soul inside them. This tattoo it’s a source of energy for me and the fact that it’s made in a traditional way, it’s making it even more special for me.