Khmer tattoo symbols and meanings

Khmer tattoo symbols are deeply rooted in a Buddhist tradition of South East Asia.
It consists of designs rooted in ancient Indian yantra symbols. They've gained popularity in the Western World through their connection with Thailand.

Those symbols are believed to hold sacred spiritual powers that grant the bearer protection and an enhancement of their abilities. In this post, I will present some of the most popular Khmer tattoo symbols and will explain their meanings.

Two Birds tattoo symbol (Sariga Koo Yant)

It symbolizes love. It grants a tattoo bearer the power of attraction. It also acts as a lucky charm during great events in life.

Two Birds tattoo (Sariga Koo Yant)

Jumping Tiger tattoo symbol (Suer Phen Yant)

A jumping Tiger is a symbol of power. It gives protection against enemies. This tattoo symbol is popular with soldiers and Muay Thai fighters

A jumping Tiger tattoo

A Lion holding a flag (Singh Thong Yant)

A Lion holding a flag is a symbol of victory. It represents power and superiority.
It has attributes such as power and immortality. It is suitable for soldiers and warriors.

A Lion holding a flag (Singh Thong Yant)

A Swan tattoo symbol [Hongsa Yant ]

In Thailand, it is believed that Buddha was a swan in his previous life.
The Swan tattoo symbol grants a bearer the ability to persuade people around them and to convince them of their point of view.

A Swan tattoo (Hongsa Yant)

Rahu demon tattoo

Rahu is a demon in Vedic astrology and is considered a bringer of darkness.
It came to Cambodia from Hindu astrology where it represents such negative feelings as fear, mischief, obsession, and confusion. It is often depicted as eating the Sun.

Rahu is a patron of shady occupations like cheaters and deceivers and those dealing in immoral acts.

Rahu demon tattoo symbol

A Great Flag [Tong Maharat]

This tattoo is suitable for entrepreneurs. It boosts one's ability to run a successful business.

A Great Flag tattoo [Tong Maharat]

Pra Pid Tawarn amulet. A protective tattoo symbol

The Pra Pid Tawarn is a protective symbol. This Sak Yant protects a tattoo bearer from evil and also acts as a blocker for all harmful things that may happen to a person.
The Monk image in the center has a Buddha image on the head, and is covering all orifices of his body with his six hands: "See no, hear no, speak no evil".

Pra Pid Tawarn amulet. A protective tattoo symbol

Buddhist Pray [Pra Jao Haam Tukh Sak Yant]

A yantra of Lord Buddha forbidding suffering. It is a four-sided yantra based on the four elements and realizations (illuminations) achieved through meditation that lead to liberation from clinging and desires in the physical world.
It gives a bearer ability to block out unwanted noise and chaos around them. It helps them to focus on important tasks in their life.

A Buddhist pray tattoo

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