Getting a traditional hand poked tattoo in Borneo

Getting a traditional hand poked tattoo definitely didn’t hurt as much as my hand tapped tattoo in Thailand
I first visited Orangutan Tattoo Studio in Kota Kinabalu where I’d researched beforehand that they do these specific tattoos. 
Herman, the artist, spoke to me about the history of the traditional Sabahian tattoos. Hundreds of years ago, when white people invaded Sabah, they massacred a lot of the tribes and wanted to destroy everything that was their indigenous history including their ancient symbols and language. Everything was gone. 
It’s only recently that Herman and his friends found pieces of their ancient language on documents in a Museum in England!! He has worked hard to then talk to his ancestors and work out what the symbols meant. 
After looking through his books, I got a traditional Sabahian symbol meaning “protector of nature”.
The traditional tattoo is near the arrow. It looks like a little person 🙂
I highly recommend this studio. Clean needles. Brand new. Super friendly with great energy. 


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