Animals and reptiles have always made a popular element for tattoo art and there can be nothing better if you rely on something as unusual as a turtle because it is sure to catch attention. Thos is the reason why turtle tattoos have been quite a big favorite among tattoo enthusiasts around the world and even tattoo artists love to experiment with this unique element. Being a peaceful looking and calm creature by nature, turtle makes an attractive prospect to express your attitude in the form of tattoo art. Additionally, it has a symbolic meaning in various cultures too, which makes it a meaningful design option.
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Symbolic Value of Turtle
Turtle is a creature which is able to survive in water and land and is also known to have a long lifespan, which makes it revered as a creature of stability, resilience and inner strength. Turtles have been an important part of the Polynesian and Hawaiian culture and tattoo art because they abound in this part of the world. in these cultures, the turtle signifies peace and serenity, while the Native American culture holds it in a place of reverence because it believes that the turtle played a pivotal role in the creation of earth. The Native Americans regard the turtle as the deity of the shores because the legend goes that this creature helped in the formation of continents by bringing up the mud from the bottom of the ocean. This is also the reason why turtle bears a close relation with Mother Earth and is regarded as the sign of the feminine and lunar cycles. Since turtles are believed to live up to 150 years, they are linked with good health and longevity. Such is the reverence of the turtle in the Zuni tribes of New Mexico that people are made to wear special medicinal bags with turtle emblem, because they are believed to prolong life and ward off death. In the ancient Greek and African culture, the turtles and tortoises have been regarded as the epitomes of patience and wisdom. The turtle is also regarded as a powerful aphrodisiac in the Caribbean and people kill them and consume their meat to enhance their sexual power, a practice which has been declared illegal of late because it is endangering turtles in this area. In cultures of Japan, Vietnam and India too, this creature holds a place of reverence and is supposed to support the existence of the earth.
Meaning of Turtle Tattoos
As the turtle is regarded as a positive force in various cultures, the turtle tattoo becomes a good sign to bear. Symbolically, a turtle tattoo means immortality, strength, stability, fertility and creation. Despite being slow in pace, this creature never gives up which makes it signify perseverance, endurance and faithfulness. The turtle tattoo is also regarded as a mark of good luck and guidance.
Different Turtle Tattoo Designs
The variety in turtle tattoos is extensive and we will discuss some designs in detail:
- Tribal Turtle Tattoos – Tribal tattoos make one of the most popular choices amongst turtle tattoos. Since turtles abound in the regions of the Pacific, they make an important part of the culture of Polynesian, Samoan, Hawaiian and Maori tribes, all found in this region. The tribal design of one culture will vary from that of the other because they will contain the elements native to the culture they relate to. The common aspect in these tribal turtle tattoo designs, however is the fact that the turtle is regarded as the symbol of the Sea and Mother Nature. The tribal cultures used these tattoos as talismans of spirituality and protection. They were also used to exhibit the status of the bearer in the society. The Hawaiian tribal tattoos associated turtle tattoos with the power of navigation.
- Cartoon Turtle Tattoos – Turtles achieved a place of popularity in the animation world after the launch of the famous carton series called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is when cartoon turtle tattoos were introduced and in a short span of time, these superhero characters became hot favorites among tattoo enthusiasts around the world. These designs not only show the strength and perseverance of these characters but there is also something cute and cheerful about them, which keeps inspiring the tattoo bearer all the time.
- Realistic 3D Turtle Tattoos – The realistic turtle tattoo designs feature turtles in their natural habitat, to give them a realistic look. They can even be done in 3D for a better visual impact.
- Peace Turtle Tattoo – Turtle has been regarded as a peaceful and patient animal which makes these tattoos a good choice for social activists and ecology supporters, as they also bear a close relation with Mother Nature.
While turtle tattoos look good in conventional grey and black, use of colors like pink, green, blue and red in these designs has also become common. Also, before you finalize a turtle tattoo design for yourself, you also need to consider the right placement for it.