Authentic handmade tattoo kit from Burma
Total length of the needle: 41.5cm
Box (WxDxH): 23x10x9cm
10 traditional tattoo design templates
The set consists of a detailed carved box made of teak wood, a folded tattoo template with traditional religious symbols and characters. When folded, it is protected by hand whetted ornament bronze fittings.
The hand-forged bronze tattoo needle consists of four parts that are screwed into each other. This results in a relatively long and heavy tattoo needle, which for that very reason can be handled with great accuracy.
Coffer, template and needle are decorated with religious icons.
Every part has been made from authentic materials in Myanmar (Burma) in the traditional manual way. Thus, this tattoo kit is in fact and always a unique piece.
The estimated production period is the mid 20th century.
Tattoos are a crucial part of the Shan culture, as they are known for their spiritual power. They should bring the wearer prosperity, keep evil spirits away, guarantee a long life and even make invulnerable. A large and sophisticated tattoo also shows social status. A tattoo is so much more than just body art. It is a life force!
The traditional tattoo artist (or spirit healer) was a traveling medicine man, an herbal expert, who visited remote villages during the cool season and usually found shelter in monasteries.
The traditional tattoo needle has three interlocking parts: the head, which usually represents a spirit or sacred animal, the middle part (often hollow for the ink), and the tip of the needle. The needle is traditionally made of bronze, but can also be made of steel, aluminum or bamboo (with the exception of the needle tip) and has an average length of 30-37 cm, but it can also vary considerably.
The ink is fermented from soot, peanut or sesame oil and lard in the dried gallbladder of a fish. The soot is then cooked with a handful of leaves, mixed with pumpkin in a large pot and cooked again. Next, the soot is removed and dried. In the last step and shortly before use, the dried carbon black is mixed with boiled water or pure oil in a thick paste. The ink is now ready. Some minor changes are possible, including mixing with lime juice and special herbs before the ink would be used in the tattoo.
Traditionally black ink is used.