The turtle is among reptiles whose main characteristic is to possess a carapace. This species can be grouped into three distinct types: tortoises, sea turtles and aquatic turtles. Considered by many people as the oldest animal tattoo, the turtle represents strong values in many cultures. Today, you’ll discover the true meaning of turtle tattoos and some of the best turtle tattoo designs.
Meaning of turtle tattoos
Turtle tattoos may have powerful meanings according to different regions in the world. In China, for example, this reptile has several meanings, it is at once the symbol of longevity, wisdom, wealth, prosperity and happiness. In Japan, the turtle represents both luck and longevity. The animal is considered as a source of happiness. Another symbol in Japan is the kappa, an evil monster with a tortoise body that attracts children near the rivers to drown them.
This animal is considered in tribal cultures as sacred which could be found in various totems. In the Samoa Islands, the tortoise is worshiped, it represents the spirit of the god of the family. In South America and more precisely in Mexico, the turtle was for some civilizations the symbol of the cult of water. Also, in African countries, turtles are often associated with fertility and represents the female sex. In Europe, this animal is often associated with slowness. A representation that is found in many expressions such as “being as slow as a turtle”.
The turtle plays an essential role in Polynesian culture. The sea is considered the source of food. Polynesians believe that it is also the world in which they will rest after death. And because the turtles can move freely between the sea and the land, the Polynesians are convinced that they will bring them to their destination.
History of turtle tattoos
Adopted for centuries by different civilizations in the world, tattoos of turtles are known for their symbolic senses.They were from tribal cultures in Polynesia, tattoos bearing the image of the tortoise are also widely known in China. Moreover, in the Amerindian culture, turtle drawings had a powerful symbolism. This animal is associated with various sacred rites and ceremonies.
Particularly seductive, turtle tattoos are fashionable. In addition to its aesthetic side, the image of the tortoise highlights different representations. Besides, the turtle evokes many distinct virtues depending on the country. Symbolizing mainly immortality, the representation of the tortoise has long been carried by kings, warriors and tribal high priests.
Turtle tattoos designs
The turtle tattoo have a strong presence in the world of tattoos given its high symbolic value in many cultures. It is probably the oldest animal symbol. We may find in the symbolic aspect of the tortoise tattoo influences of civilizations around the globe.
After discovering the turtle tattoos meaning, it is time to present some of the best models of turtle tattoo. In picture gallery below, you will enjoy no less than 40 photos. You will also be able to find ideas and inspiration to design your turtle tattoo.