25 Aug
2009

Viking Tattoo Designs – Are They For You?

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viking tattooHave you ever considered a Viking tattoo? Vikings were always associated with fear, bravado and ferociousness.  They were warriors, explorers and merchants who sailed all around Europe (and maybe even North America) and raided villages.  They pretty much brought a reign of terror with them wherever they went.  The Viking Age lasted from around the late 700s to the early 1000s.  These Norsemen sailed in their iconic long ships, and were often depicted as fierce warriors in art.

The Vikings themselves did not leave many written records behind, as they spent much of their time traveling.  Their surviving artwork does show that some symbols and designs were important to them.  Today, these symbols are popular Viking tattoo designs.  They include  Thor’s hammer, complex knot work, triskeles, crosses, swords and so forth.

Some popular Viking tattoo designs feature helmets with horns.  This is a popular symbol often associated with Viking warriors, although there is no historical evidence that they ever even wore them!   Still, Viking art would not be complete without this symbol, and there are hundreds of designs to choose from depicting it.

Some people go all out and get tattoos of an actual Viking warrior, all decked out in a helmet with horns and brandishing a broadsword.  Getting this type of tattoo can take awhile, and it takes an extremely talented artist to successfully draw it and get it right.  After all, a Viking warrior must have a distinct, fierce look on his face, and only the best tattoo artists can pull something like that off.

The actual meanings of medieval Scandinavian symbols and images are unknown.  Thor’s hammer is about the only symbol associated with the Viking Age that is not unknown.  It basically represents the Norse thunder god Thor’s hammer, Mjollnir, which means crusher.  It is believed that many Scandinavian people wore Thor’s hammer necklaces for protection.  In later centuries, as Christianity spread to Scandinavians, crosses were often incorporated into Mjollnir pendants.

This day and age, many people choose Viking tattoo designs to symbolize courage, bravery and strength.  Many people from Norway and Denmark especially wear Viking tattoos.  Americans who have Saxon or Norse ancestry appreciate the art as well.  Some Viking art also appears as if it has some Celtic roots, and the Vikings did invade Ireland and were among the founders of Dublin.  For this reason, many people with Irish or Scottish ancestry will get Viking tattoo designs.  The triskeles, for example, are a common Viking and Celtic sign both.

Viking tattoos are not for everybody, because they can be big and in your face, but many people do love them.  If you are thinking about getting one, you should get a few temporary Viking tattoos to see how they look on you.  You can browse the internet for numerous Viking tattoo designs and images.  You may want to consider paying for a membership to view a tattoo gallery.  They feature thousands of tattoo images that you will never be able to see otherwise.

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