Nautical tattoos are some of the most popular designs out there because they hold a lot of meaning behind them. It could be because the wearer has been in the military or maybe is just an avid sailor. You could just love life by the sea. There are many reasons to love these tattoos are we are going to start looking at the meanings behind some of the most popular ones.
There is a lot of history behind the nautical tattoo and that’s because as far back as the 16th-century sailors wore tattoos that they got while they were in the Pacific islands. It was even discovered in Captain John Cook’s diary that there were indigenous people wearing the very same tattoos. During that time, sailors actually tattooed each other and they had to use whatever tools that they had at the time. Shockingly enough, in order to create a tattoo, they often used urine and gunpowder for the ink.
Symbolism Behind Nautical Tattoos
There was a reason why people got nautical tattoos:
It was a symbol of patriotism
They believed tattoos were talismans used to ward off back luck
A reminder of a certain triumph or place that was visited
Mementos used to mark milestones in their voyage
The maritime men at that time were very superstitious and they had every reason for it. The conditions that they worked in were often unpredictable and dangerous. Their lives were at the mercy of luck and there was no other way around it. In order to stay safe, they would wear these images on their bodies to ward off bad luck and bring about good luck.
We see these ship tattoos a lot and they can come in many shapes and sizes.
Sailors loved ship tattoos because they were a metaphor for them. It was where they went to work on a daily basis and it also stood for adventure. Sailor Jerry was a well know sailor and he loved ships. He actually owned master papers on every major ship vessel. They had clipper ship tattoos that were legendary and they represented not only his love of ships but the call that he had to go on an adventure. He always had that determination to be “Homeward Bound’ and that was what his tattoos represented.
The lighthouse was another natural tattoo for sailors to get. The lighthouse represented a safe haven, the very thing that would lead them home safely. It’s not surprising that some sailors would want the lighthouse represented. There have been many a sailor that has died at sea because they couldn’t find the lighthouse. It’s the one thing that they can depend on in times of distress.
The anchor is another symbolic tattoo and it represents security in a sailor’s life. Not only that but it represents stability. You will often see anchor with women or even names like the word “mom” because it goes right to the core of what stabilizes them whether it’s a soulmate or family. The anchor has become more popular over the years and even people who just like to sail will have the anchor tattoo. It’s the tattoo the represents what is steady and stable in your life.*