What does a tiger symbolize?
Tigers represent power, strength and authority and impose fear and respect.
Thailand is one of Southeast Asia’s last places to find the Indochinese tiger. Fewer than 250 now remain, but this number increases due to law enforcement efforts and anti-poaching patrols. Tigers officially belong to the government, and one small group of this species lives in a national park in eastern Thailand.
Fortunately, no tigers are roaming the streets of Chiang Mai. But you do often see artwork depicting tigers and lots of tiger tattoos.
Tigers represent power, strength and authority and impose fear and respect. The most common tattoo for Muay Thai fighters and people who work in dangerous jobs is a tattoo of two tigers facing each other. Since one tiger is mighty, two tigers give the bearer even more power.
On my first visit in 2018, I chose a tattoo of a tiger looking backwards. This design means that the person has protection from behind, but it also represents compassion. So whoever has this tattoo is obliged to have mercy in their position of authority.
Sirius Health has two Kalaga tapestries from the Mae Sai district of Chaing Mai province with hand-embossed tigers set in a green silk border. These are my favourite designs, and one hangs in my treatment room, watching my back.
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