Not Quite Jieba

I saw this branding in Alejandro Hernandez Salazar’s portfolio (Tattoos by Spooky, Mexico) and the first thing I thought of was the scalp brands that some Buddhist monks wear, but after looking further into the gallery I realized that these were actually very intense strike brands, done by using a propane torch to heat up a very large bar of metal that must carry an incredible amount of heat inertia. I actually spent some time wondering which method would be “worse” for the person having it done. The Buddhist brands, known as “jieba” (ordination scars), are done in rows of three (which I guess should have been my instant tip-off) making either 6, 9, or 12 scars, which take about five minutes flesh slowly sizzling from the incense… but the amount of energy in that big bar once heated? A bit scary. Click here for the photo credit on the monk by the way.



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