From the very early ages man has been using tattoos. Different culture used tattoos for different purposes. And from the ancient times tattoos have been used as a symbol of protection for many cultures. Most of the tattoos which were used for protection were done because of some ritual or custom. Indians used tattoos of their gods and goddesses to keep themselves protected against any kind of danger. And especially a tattoo of Hanuman was drawn to protect them from evil. The Ainu women of Japan used to wear tattoos of their goddess to protect themselves from evil spirits.
The Aborigines of Australia also wears tattoos for protection. They believe that the tattoo will protect them from Boomerangs. Protection tattoos were mainly worn by people of the Asian origin. Burmese soldiers used to wear tattoos on their upper leg to protect them in times of war. They believed they get power from these tattoos to fight the wars. The Thai people wear tattoos of Buddhist inscriptions. These inscriptions from the religious Buddhist texts were believed to have magical power. The tattoos were applied on the body of the devotees through certain rituals.
One of the most interesting facts regarding the protection tattoos were, the tattoos made by the snake clan of Pakokku of Burma. This clan worship snakes as the symbol of fertility. They are skilled in handling snakes and wear tattoos to protect themselves from these vicious creatures. Tattooing is performed through certain rituals which take place on a weekly basis. This ritual involves prayer, and then a very large metal needle is dipped in the ink mixed with the snake venom. This venom which is inserted under the skin acts as inoculation against the snake bites. Generally the upper part of the body is tattooed with cobra venom and the lower part of the body was done with viper venom. Thus it protected these men from the two most deadly snakes.
Protection tattoos are an early concept and it is still their within various culture and people. It is used for spiritual protection and sometimes for physical protections among the various clans.