The art of inking has been prevalent since time immemorial and it has now reached mainstream society too. Using one's body as a canvas for showcasing personal beliefs has led people to seek out tattoos with meanings behind them. In the past, tribes used this body art to mark warriors or fellow tribesmen. It is also used to pledge loyalty to certain belief system or school of thought.
In modern days, tattoos are infamously associated with gang affiliations and the FBI maintains a database of all the gang-related designs. On a lighter note, rock stars and film stars have taken this art form to the general masses, as the population tries to emulate their icons. The popularity of tattoos can be vindicated by the popularity of TV shows about tattoo artists, like LA Ink and Miami Ink.
One of the interesting things about the meaning of tattoos is that it changes according to color, culture, and design. An example of this is the dragon tattoo. In the Chinese culture, dragon symbolizes wisdom and prosperity, while in the West, it represents evil and violence. Here is a brief look at some of the interesting tattoo designs and their meanings.
In Native American culture, the wolf was considered as a symbol of loyalty, courage, and strength. The Romans also revered this animal and considered it as a sign of power, while the Greeks considered it sacred. However, in the Celtic and Chinese cultures, this animal is looked down up on and considered to be a bad omen.
There are different dove tattoo meanings, the most famous being that it symbolizes peace. Depicting two doves together is symbolic of two people's feelings for each other. A dove tattoo with a palm branch is considered as a new chance at life. This is one of the designs with history behind them, and has been extensively used by people who propagate harmony and peace.
The nautical star tattoo represents the will to create your own way of life. You could also get a nine-point star or a nonagram, which represents stability. Those with a streak of the dark side can get a pentagram pointing downwards to portray devil worship.
The meanings of butterfly tattoos vary from independence to symbolizing beauty and grace. In Greek mythology a butterfly depicts the journey of a soul. The frailty of the creature can also be translated into the delicate nature of our existence.
Claddagh design is a heart held by two hands, with a crown on top. It is said to be design of the ring made by a young man for his true love when he was taken as a slave. This design represents enduring love and devotion. It also symbolizes undying commitment and the spirit of friendship. The tattoo can also be seen without the crown, as its meaning doesn't change with or without the it.
There are several flower designs and their meanings change according to the particular flower. Here are some of the different flowers used in tattoos and their meanings.
- Red Rose: Love and Respect
- Yellow Rose: Friendship
- White Lilly:- Innocence
- Sunflower: Loyalty
- Hibiscus: Purity
Some of the other tattoos with meaning behind them are red Koi fish designs, which symbolize strength, and zodiac signs wherein each sign has a specific meaning and characteristics assigned to it. People also use different lettering styles to write words or phrases that have a deep personal meaning attached with the letters to get a meaningful tattoo.