Popular Thai tribal tattoo designs include ongk phra, which translates to Buddha's body; ha thaew, translating to five rows (of blessings); suea, a design depicting twin tigers and kao yord, or the nine spires.
Thai tattooing is called yantra tattooing or sak yant. The art traces back to the 13th century. Traditional Thai tattooing employs a bamboo stick that is sharpened to a point at one end. These tattoos are done by a Ruesi, which translates into English as "magic man," or a Buddhist monk. Thai tattoos are given during a holy ceremony where the Ruesi performs an incantation spell. This practice is believed to give the tattoo special power and sacredness.