Bamboo tattooing has been practiced in Southeast Asian countries for thousands of years. In the past Buddhist monks tattooed sacred designs on followers. This type of traditional bamboo tattoo is called ‘Sak Yant’ in Thailand and is still done today. This type of tattoo is believed to give the people magic powers associated with healing, luck, strength, and protection against evil.
“There are many Sak Yant tattooists, although devout Buddhists will only get theirs done by a monk at a temple. It isn’t just the bamboo tattoo itself that has a meaning it’s the whole spiritual process. The inscription or design, which is chosen for you by the monk tattooist and the blessing of the finished tattoo by a senior monk.”
Healing Time for Bamboo Tattoos vs Machine Tattoos
Aftercare for both types of tattoos is initially the same. The new tattoo needs to be kept moisturized and covered for the first few hours. You should also wash it if it gets dirty, then gently pat it dry. Once dry, apply anti-bacterial cream to keep the skin moist and clean.
It will take a couple of weeks for a new bamboo tattoo to fully heal. An iron or pen tattoo will take around a month to fully heal, and in that time there will often be some swelling and scabbing.