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ISBN : 978-2-9191-2272-1

Format : 21 x 28 cm

Pages : 192 pages

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Tatouages sacrés – Thaïlande, Cambodge, Laos et Myanmar
(Sacred tattoos – Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar)

Isabel Azevedo Drouyer - René Drouyer | November 2017

Why have sacred tattoos generated such enormous enthusiasm? Who are these men who practise the art of Sak Yant, and who are their clients? Based on a three-year study not only of the masters of Sak Yant both religious and secular, but also those who have been tattooed, the author has encompassed disciplines as diverse as anthropology, religion, history, art, medicine and psychology to produce the first book in French about the practice of sacred tattooing in the Theravada Buddhist countries of South-East Asia.

The book

In those South-East Asian countries where the Theravada Buddhist tradition prevails, certain tattoos would seem to possess a magical influence as well as the power to bring good luck, health, riches and love. They are the work of great masters whose tattoos have been recognised as providing protection against stabbings and bullet wounds. In this region there has been a long history of sacred tattoos, They are part of the Buddhist tradition known in Thailand as Sak Yant or Roi Sak. They would seem to exert a particular influence on those who have been tattooed. Do they really possess such powers and how does this work?
Such questions raise the issue of belief systems, rituals and the impact of tattoos as well as amulets on the minds and health of believers. In the past those questions were considered irrational. Nowadays they are being taken up by the scientific community. Recent studies have shown that our beliefs can not only determine the course of our lives but tattoos and amulets can act as authentic placebos.
Today the spread of such tattoos no longer stops at the borders of those countries where they originated. In the ‘Tattoo Studios’ of the Sak Yant masters one can meet Hollywood actors, international sportsmen, businessmen from Singapore and elsewhere. Such is the growing popularity of these tattoos that it is no longer a matter only of celebrities. Now men and women of all nationalities and ages, of all social classes wish to have one of these tattoos inked on their skin. For their part, the tattoo masters have been invited to practise their art in Australia as well as the US, Europe and in other Asian countries. Why have these tattoos generated such enthusiasm? Who are the men who practise the art of Sak Yant and who are their clients?
This book is the product of a three-year study of the Sat Yant masters both religious and secular as well as their clients. The author has been able to access a wide range of documents and studies in the diverse fields of anthropology, religion, history, art, medicine and psychology. This is the first French language work on the practice of sacred tattoos in the Theravada Buddhist countries of SE Asia.
Some 244 photographs, pictures and drawings provide vivid illustrations of one of the last living examples of traditional sacred tattoos in the world.

The author

Isabel Azevedo Drouyer studied archeology, the history of art as well as European political, social and cultural history. These studies took place in France. At the University of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, she undertook a comparative study of the Buddhist stone carvings of Cambodia and of Central Java (6th - 11th centuries). She has delivered several lectures on this topic.
René Drouyer an engineer who has studied fine arts and photography. He has a passion for travel. Since 2004, he has worked with many photographic and advertising agencies. His photographs and illustrations regularly appear on the covers of books and magazines.