Exploring the Art of Bamboo Tattooing and the Tradition Meets Self-Expression


“The modern society has been utilizing tattooing as a method of self-expression. Why not have one within the conventional method?” asks Syama Devi, founding father of Dreamcatchers Tattoo Studio in Kadavanthra. Her love for this art started 14 years ago, and she has not left any stone unturned in studying something new about tattooing. The most recent in Syama’s listing is Bambooing Tattooing’.

In a candid dialog with Onmanorama, Syama explains the means and traits of this tattooing.

What’s bamboo tattooing?
In easy phrases, it is a hand-poking approach that originated in Cambodia. It’s their conventional method of getting inked. The tactic includes a bamboo stick with a needle on the finish to reduce ink on the pores and skin. This methodology is often utilized in Buddhist temples, where monks create designs and tap them on an individual’s physique while chanting prayers. These days, we use a metal stick. However, the course is identical.


Syama’s love for tattoos and its course started 14 years ago. Photo: Particular Association

What’s the purpose of such a tattoo?
Bamboo tattooing uses specialized designs for safety, abundance, well-being, and love. Before tattooing, monks clarify the methods and their significance to the shoppers so that they will chant prayers that serve the latter’s requirement. I’ve heard Southeast Asian folklore about warriors getting such tattoos with prayers and spells earlier than heading to battle. My tutors have additionally informed me that these tattoos give immense optimism to individuals considering their means and objectives.

What are the patterns used in these tattoos?
Each design used for bamboo tattooing has letters encrypted into it, which denote a prayer. Some designs have turtles, tigers, crocodiles, and cash luggage, symbolizing every objective.


Monk is making a traditional Yantra tattoo in Nakhon Chai, Thailand. Photo: Shutterstock/ De Visu

What are the protection measures taken when tattooing with this methodology?
The protection measures are identical to these, whereas tattooing is within the typical method, which includes a machine with a single-use needle. To ensure that our shoppers have a secure and straightforward expertise, we adhere to strict hygiene norms and focus on it with them.


Syama learned the art of bamboo tattooing in Thailand. Photo: Special Arrangement

Where did you be taught this art of bamboo tattooing?
I had been desirous to be taught the bamboo tattooing process for a long time. However, my preparations needed to be placed on maintenance due to the pandemic-induced lockdown. It’s comparatively a tricky approach, and I discovered it in Thailand. It takes time, observation, and endurance to be taught this art.

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