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THAI NAGA HALF SLEEVE

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Nāga themed half sleeve on left arm. 

Garuda themed half sleeve on right arm.

This is the result of a great project about the ancient characters Garuda & Naga. Showing above is the left arm with the Naga theme. The right arm is posted on this blog before and has a Garuda theme. This was a quite challenging project for me because I never drew a dragon before in my life. This is my first dragon, sounds weird, but it’s true. We choose to use the Thai dragon called Naga and surrounded it with Thai ornaments based on traditional Thai carvings. The customer wanted to have a contrast between the left arm and the right arm. To learn more about the Thai dragons I had to find some books telling me a little bit more of the stories behind these ancient characters. I found out these stories are incredibly complicated. Both of these characters appear in as well Buddhism and Hinduism mythology. I focussed on the Buddism interpetation of the Garuda (Even the stories about Garuda of Hinduism & Buddhism have similarities). I’m always amazed about the Thai ornaments and carvings found on temples and houses. Great piece to work on! More of this!

– Ade Itameda

A little bit more about Garuda & Nāga:

In Buddhist mythology, the Garuda are enormous predatory birds with intelligence and social organization. Another name for the Garuda is Suparṇa which means “well-winged, having good wings”. Like the Nāga, they combine the characteristics of animals and divine beings. They don’t know the exact size of the Garuda, but they say that his wings have a span of many ‘miles’ wide. They also say that when a Garuda’s wings flap, they create hurricane-like winds that darken the sky and blow down houses. A human being is so small compared to a Garuda that a man can hide in the plumage of one without being noticed. They are also capable of tearing up entire banyan trees from their roots and carrying them off. They also have the ability to grow large or small, and to appear and disappear at will. The Garuda have kings and cities and at least some of them have the magical power of changing into human form when they wish to have dealings with people.

The Garuda are enemies to the Nāga, a race of intelligent serpent or dragon-like beings, whom they hunt. The Garuda at one time caught the Nāga by seizing them by their heads; but the Nāga learned that by swallowing large stones, they could make themselves too heavy to be carried by the Garuda, wearing them out and killing them from exhaustion. The Buddhist Nāga generally has the form of a great cobra-like snake, usually with a single head but sometimes with many. At least some of the Nāga are capable of using magic powers to transform themselves to look human just like Garuda. In Buddhist painting, the Nāga is sometimes portrayed as a human being with a snake or dragon extending over his head. They believe that Nāga live on Mount Sumeru, among the other minor deities, and in various parts of the human-inhabited earth. Some of them are live in the water, in streams or lakes and others are living in the earth, in underground caverns.

As you might know, the Mekong is one of the longest rivers in Southeast Asia. The legend of the Nāga is a strong and sacred belief held by Thai and Lao people living along this river. Many pay their respects to the river because they believe the Nāga still rule in it, and locals hold an annual sacrifice for the Nāga. Each ceremony depends on how each village earns its living from the Mekong River. For instance, through fishing or transport. Local residents believe that the Nāga can protect them from danger, so they are likely to make a sacrifice to Nāga before taking a boat trip along the Mekong River.

 

All these tattoo designs are custom made by Ade Itameda and created uniquely for each client and made by modern tattoo machines. They are based on personal ideas/symbols of his clients.  None of these designs will be re-used again. 

Copyright © Ade Itameda 2012. All rights reserved.

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CORLEONE

 

 

Cornell’s a.k.a Corleone’s chest-piece done by Ade.

Based on Vajra and lotus flowers.

 

 

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BEAUTIFUL BACKS

All tattoos are made by Ade Itameda.

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ARM

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ENDLESS KNOT

 

The endless knot has been described as “an ancient symbol representing the interweaving of the Spiritual path, the flowing of Time and Movement within That Which is Eternal. All existence, it says, is bound by time and change, yet ultimately rests serenely within the Divine and the Eternal.”

Various interpretations of the symbol are:

  • The Endless knot iconography symbolised Samsara i.e., the endless cycle of suffering or birth, death and rebirth within Tibetan Buddhism.
  • The inter-twining of wisdom and compassion.
  • Interplay and interaction of the opposing forces in the dualistic world of manifestation, leading to their union, and ultimately to harmony in the universe.
  • The mutual dependence of religious doctrine and secular affairs.
  • The union of wisdom and method.
  • The inseparability of emptiness (shunyata) and dependent origination, the underlying reality of existence.
  • Symbolic of knot symbolism in linking ancestors and omnipresence and the magical ritual and meta-process of binding (refer etymology of Tantra, Yoga and religion)
  • Since the knot has no beginning or end it also symbolizes the wisdom of the Buddha.

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TATTOOS ADE

Aksara jawa lettering and flower inspired by batik ornaments

Aksara jawa:

The earliest known writing in Javanese dates from the 4th Century AD, at which time Javanese was written with the Pallava alphabet. By the 10th Century, the Kawi alphabet, which developed from Pallava, had a distinct Javanese form.

By the 17th Century, the Javanese alphabet, also known as tjarakan or carakan, had developed into its current form. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia between 1942 and 1945, the alphabet was prohibited.

For a period from the 15th Century onwards, Javanese was also written with a version of the Arabic alphabet, called pégon or gundil.

Since the Dutch introduced the Latin alphabet to Indonesia in the 19th Century, the Javanese alphabet has gradually been supplanted. Today it is used almost exclusively by scholars and for decoration. Those who can read and write it are held in high esteem.

  • Javanese is a syllabic alphabet – each letter has an inherent vowel /a/. Other vowels can be indicated using a variety of diacritics which appear above, below, in front of or after the main letter.
  • Each consonants has two forms: the aksara form is used at the beginning of a syllable, while the pasangan form, which usually appears below the aksara form, is used for the second consonant of a consonant cluster and mutes the vowel of the aksara.
  • There are a number of special letters called aksara murda or aksara gedhe (great or important letters) which are used for honorific purposes, such as to write the names of respected people.
  • The order of the consonants makes the following saying, “Hana caraka, data sawala padha jayanya, maga bathanga” which means “There were (two) emissaries, they began to fight, their valor was equal, they both fell dead”

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TATTOOS ADE

 

 

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GORILLA + FOO DOG

Gorilla ornament for Tim.

Observe this regal creature in its natural habitat. Gorillas are vastly sociable, and have intricate methods of communication with each other. Furthermore, there is a great deal of  honor involved with their interactions with each other.

Gorillas are intimately aware of each member within the community. In fact, the responsibility to assist both young and elderly members of the troop (term for a group of gorillas) are shared among all the members of the community. This is a message to us to not pass over our debt to our elders – but be active participants in their final days.

 

Foo dog for Chino, Female version will be added later on other arm.

Foo dog (chinese guardian lion)

They are believed to have powerful mythic protective powers that has traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). Pairs of guardian lions are still common decorative and symbolic elements at the entrances to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other structures, with one sitting on each side of the entrance, in China and in other places around the world where the Chinese people have immigrated and settled, especially in local Chinatowns.

Salam budaya. adeitameda


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