Nautical Tattoos Adrian MI
Garden City, MI
Flat Rock, MI
Nautical or Maritime tattoos
Nautical or Maritime Tattoos - are tattoos derived from the very roots and history of modern tattooing. Sailors were among the first to revive the art and practice of tattooing when they visited the islands of Polynesia in the South Pacific and other lands in Southeast Asia. Captain Cook in his famous explorations to Tahiti, Hawaii and New Zealand was the first to record the tattooing of the indigenous people in 1786. The word tattoo in the English language come from the Tahitian word, 'ta-taw', which was thought to mimic the sound made by the traditional Polynesian tattooing implements as they made a tattoo. When the sailors returned to Europe with tattoos that were essentially exotic souvenirs of their travels and adventures, European audiences were fascinated.
Life at sea was hard and only the toughest men survived. Sailors, being at the mercy of the wind and the sea and the elements, and the very capriciousness of Mother Nature, were a very superstitious lot. It did not take long for them to build up an extraordinarily elaborate set of tattoo symbols that spoke a language all their own. Tattoos told the story of were a sailor had traveled, if he had been around Cape Horn or crossed the Equator, if he had visited the Orient. Many of the tattoos were amulets and talismans of protection to keep from falling overboard, drowning or being eaten by a shark.
From tattooing the words on their knuckles, to numerous tattoo designs and symbols like the Nautical Star that were meant to keep them safe and guide them safely back to their home port. Many sailors used to tattoo images of their full-rigged ships on their bodies, often taking up large spaces on their chest, backs and arms to pay respects to their homes upon the waves. Often times, despite their often raucous and rowdy lifestyle, many sailors would have religious images and icons tattooed upon their backs, sometimes even full Psalms or the Lord's Prayer. Part of this was to remind themselves to be virtuous, but it was also believed that you were less likely to as flogged as severely if you got twenty lashes across your back for misbehaving!
Get inspired by some really great images and photos in our Nautical Inspiration Gallery
See also: Nautical Tattoo Index , Marine Life Tattoos
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