Sunday, February 7, 2016

By Mary Green and Maria Mercedes Lara
02/07/2016 AT 07:35 PM EST

Angelina Jolie Pitt has got some new ink.

The actress, 40, was spotted with three large new tattoos while working on her new film, First They Killed My Father, in Cambodia on Sunday.

The designs appeared to be in the yantra (or sak yant) tattoo style, a traditional Buddhist form of body art that originated in Southeast Asia. A source confirmed to PEOPLE that Jolie did indeed get three new tattoos and that they are Buddhist blessings for peace, love and a prosperous life. However, it is unclear if they were technically yantra tattoos or simply in that style.

Photos show the tattoos covering most of Jolie's upper back in intricate geometric designs. Yantra tattoos are typical hand-etched by Buddhist monks and special ruesi practitioners, requiring meticulous skill.

 This is hardly the actress-turned-director's first ink. Jolie has numerous tattoos, including a large tiger on her lower back from famed Thai tattoo artist Sompong Kanphai. She recently displayed a new piece in December – a geometric design on the inside of her left arm.

Jolie has been spending time in Cambodia while she works on her new Netflix film, which is based on a memoir about life under Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime. Her eldest sons – Maddox, who was born in Cambodia, and Pax – are working with her on the project, with Maddox helping with research and Pax taking still photos for the production.


Look at what's new: Angelina Jolie debuted three new tattoos on her back when in Cambodia on Sunday. There are two ancient markings (top center and far right) and a Yant known as Paech chaluaek (center, bottom)

Good things come in threes: These are the three new markings on her back; two of them (top and right) are ancient Thai Buddhist symbols and mantras, which are thought to provide protection. The other one, a box, is a Yanta; there are joined by a dozen others

Old pal: The top center one and far right one are believed to have been at the same time in January by Bangkok-based artist Ajarn Noo Kanpai.  Kanpai also worked with Jolie in 2003 on her shoulder blade and in 2004 on her tiger. The artist uses an old method of inking by hand, not a machine

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