Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tattoo Wizard

The other night I asked my taxi driver about the mask displayed on his dashboard and he told me that the face represents a Thai tattoo master named Ajarn Noo Kampai. The Ajarn, or teacher, is widely known for his sacred Thai and Khmer tattoos that are believed to protect the body (and mind) from harm. It turns out that my taxi driver knows the Ajarn and offered to take me to his house that night to witness his artful skills and accompanying shamanistic rituals. Even if I had had the time to experience the Ajarn working his magic that night, I probably wouldn't have signed up for the pain-inducing part. But maybe witnessing the rituals would have been enough to keep evil spirits away for a while.