Ajarn Matthieu and Ajarn Rung

While attending the London tattoo convention I met a married Ajarn (teacher/master in Thai) couple who both did traditional Thai Sak Yants. Ajarn Matthieu is originally from Réunion Island (fun fact: as Réunion is part of France but is located off the east coast of Africa, the flight from there to France is considered the longest domestic flight in the world) but moved to Thailand where he met and married Ajarn Rung. After speaking with them and seeing their work I decided that I would like them to complete the sleeve of my left arm. This would be the start of multiple travels to see them which included the Belgium Tattoo Convention shortly afterwards and then a few visits to their home in Hua Hin, Thailand for more Sak Yants on various other areas of my body.

The piece completed in this session was that of a Naga, a semi-divine river beast with supernatural powers which is considered part human and part cobra, and who’s demeanour can vary between malevolent and benevolent. In Sak Yant form it represents kindness, popularity, luck, good fortune and wealth.

There is some controversy here though, specifically regarding Ajarn Rung being a female Sak Yant practitioner. I was told that the magical properties of Sak Yants are invalid if applied by a woman, but I was assured by Ajarn Matthieu that this is not the case. It is not my place to pass judgement on this tradition and I respect the tattoos which were given to me and will honour them and Ajarn Rung accordingly.

Posted on