Yantra tattooing, also called sak yant, is practiced in Southeast Asian countries including Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. The practice has also begun to grow in popularity among Chinese Buddhists in Singapore. Sak yant designs are normally tattooed by Ruesi, wicha (magic) practitioners, and Buddhist monks. Yantra tattoos are believed to bestow mystical powers, protection, or good luck.
This tattoo motif is often glossed as the “Borneo Rose” or bunga terong, the Iban word for eggplant flower. It was created and hand-tapped by Eddie David in the Iban longhouse of Lalang on the Skrang River, Sarawak, in 2002. For the Iban and other indigenous peoples of Borneo who wear it, there are just as many variations of this popular design as there are potential meanings. The center swirl symbolizes the underbelly of a tadpole, a virility symbol.