One of the reasons why tattoos are a rage is because it is understood that they represent the freedom to express personality, opinions, traditions and individuality. In most world cultures, body art is associated with spirituality. If you are considering getting inked, you may want to give a thought to turtle motifs.
Turtle Design Meanings
Turtle tattoos are very popular with the younger generation. The turtle is an amphibian which leads its life in two environments, namely, land and water. Let us see some of the meanings associated with body art that depicts turtles.
- In the ancient culture it was said that a turtle is symbolic to carrying the earth on its back.
- In western cultures, turtles are seen as symbols of patience and wisdom.
- These animals are slow yet very steady and are seen as a symbol of perseverance.
- They are also said to be symbols of fertility as they lay a very large number of eggs.
- The shell of the turtle is hard and is a symbol of protection and strength.
- Since the turtle is able to escape the world in the comfort of its shell, a number of people identify themselves with this amphibian.
- Long life is another symbolization associated with turtles.
There are a variety of designs that you can choose from if you decide to get a turtle tattoo done. Here are some of the popular designs with a brief explanation of their meaning.
Polynesian Turtle Designs
The Polynesians are spread in the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Easter Island, Tahiti, French Polynesia and Hawaii. The meaning associated with turtles in the Polynesian body art is that of long life and fertility. In Polynesian tattoo designs, a turtle is also said to represent the genealogy and social and personal accomplishments of the person. In the Hawaii Islands and according to Native Americans, turtles also represent calmness and tranquility.
Chinese and Japanese Turtle Designs
In Chinese culture, the turtle has been attributed with qualities like strength, endurance, slowness, fecundity and longevity. As a matter of fact, an image of a turtle was also used on the imperial banner, representing protection in war. Sea turtles, in Japanese culture, stand for the emblem of Kumpira. Kumpira is said to be the God of sailors.
African Turtle Design
A turtle has a different meaning in African culture. In African beliefs, a turtle has been a masculine symbol. It also stands for fertility, along with an emblem of protection.
Greek Turtle Designs
As opposed to the belief in Africa, in ancient Greece, a turtle was an emblem of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. It was also associated as an animal with femininity possessing the yielding aspect of water.
Mayan and Iroquois Turtle Designs
For the Mayans, a turtle was associated with land, water and thunder. One Mayan deity is also shown to be wearing a turtle shell on this head. The giant turtle for Iroquois is a symbol of wisdom.
Aztec Turtle Designs
Amongst the Aztecs, turtle designs are not very popular as a negative meaning attached to them. For the Aztecs, a turtle symbolizes cowardice and boastfulness. They are also looked upon as hard on the outside and soft on the inside. To put it in simple words, turtles are said to possess a dual personality.
Other Turtle Designs
Among the people living in the coastal areas, a turtle is also said to be the harbinger of good fortune. Since it is a graceful swimmer, it also stands for freedom. A female sea turtle digs up a nest and lays hundreds of eggs at a time and returns to the sea. From the time it is born, a baby sea turtle has to struggle to survive. Hence, a turtle is also a sign of struggle for survival.
When you have finally decided to get a body art with turtle design, there are many free designs that you can choose from. If you are creative enough, you can even design your own tattoo. The beauty of turtles designs is that other designs can also be incorporated with them. If you do not want your body art to be visible, you may choose a small design and place it at a discreet location. You may also opt for a design which fits your personal meaning as well. It is also important to note that tattoos, while a beautiful way to express your personality, are permanent and their removal is a painful, tedious and, often, an unsuccessful task. So, before getting inked, it would be prudent to research and find the perfect design for you.