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Protected by a hard shell, equipped to navigate both land and water, capable of crossing oceans and exceptionally long-lived, it is no wonder that the turtle has been revered for thousands of years by cultures all over the world as a symbol of strength, stability and stamina. Although tattoo art has been embraced by numerous cultures throughout history, nowhere has the sea turtle been associated with tattoos more than in the Pacific Islands. The art of tattooing has been prevalent on almost every shore of the Pacific, but achieved particular significance in Polynesia, the area defined by Hawaii in the north, New Zealand to the west, and Easter Island to the east. Where a person stood in the hierarchical society of Polynesia was determined by their current role in the tribe, as well as by their genealogy and maturity.
Shark, lizard and turtle tattoo designs were primary symbols, used throughout Polynesian society. One Hawaiian myth says that it was "Honu" (Hawaiian for turtle) who guided the first inhabitants of Hawaii to their new home.
Although there are alternate myths, a reverence for the turtle's prowess in navigation is part of the Hawaiian culture. Capable of laying a hundred eggs at one time, they are viewed as symbols of fertility and creation.
The sea turtle's ability to return home connects them with guidance, good luck and faithfulness. Their slow movement has some negative connotations, such as the decreased mobility of old age, but primarily the slow, dogged movement of turtles denotes steadfastness, as in Aesop's fable of the tortoise winning the race against the hare. Riding a motorcycle is all about that sense of liberation, and biker tattoos reflect this feeling. Once upon a time biker tattoos were associated with criminals and done with handmade equipment and improvised inks. You know them when you see them, but what are the essential elements of biker tattoo designs?
Skulls: the most popular choice is the skull or a skeleton, combined with flames, a snake, glowing eyes, etc. Eagles: these are the symbol of the United States and a common choice for bikers, who are usually very patriotic. Hearts: these are a common theme for the ladies, usually combined with bows or ribbons, barbed wire, etc. Other "old school" tattoos are popular choices for bikers, like women, daggers, dragons and blazing tires. Many biker tattoos feature the Harley Davidson name or logo, sometimes on its own, and sometimes as part of an intricate design. Eagles or eagle wings: these are very American symbols and a part of the Harley Davidson logo. Biker tattoos vary greatly with regard to how much skin they cover, but generally speaking they are not small.


In a sense, how many tattoos a biker has does indicate how committed he is to the lifestyle. The lotus flower tattoo has been a part of body art in Asia for a long time because the lotus has powerful meanings drawn from ancient cultures and religions. To Buddhists, the lotus represents the purity of enlightenment after the long toil of earthly existence because the pure, white flowers of the lotus unfold each morning out of muddy, standing water.
Because each lotus seed contains what appears to be the complete plant in miniature, it also represents the completeness of the soul before birth. Because the stem of the lotus is so tough and resilient, the flower came to represent harmony and fidelity in the marriage.
Because of the flawless vision of a pure, white flower breaking through the water, it was said to be like a beautiful woman stepping from a bath and came to be associated with the ideal of feminine beauty and grace. As a tattoo design, this meaning is very similar to the Buddhist vision: rebirth and new beginnings.
The lotus is also popular as a tribal design, usually completely black, sometimes with color accents. Beautiful young woman tattoo artist portrait with tattoo machine against tattoo ink bottles. Of course it's entirely possible that rose tattoos have a completely different symbolic meaning for you, something personal and unique. One design that is not as common, but still makes a great looking piece is a black rose tattoo. A black rose was also used by the Irish as a symbol of rebellion against the British, who had a red rose as a symbol. Check out this Grey Ink Biomechanical Leg Tattoo For Men pictures and Grey Ink Biomechanical Leg Tattoo For Men images? Covering one third of the planet, the Pacific Ocean is the realm of the sea turtle, and upon every land mass that the turtle has visited, legends and myths have arisen about the singular creature. Mohawk mythology ascribes earthquakes to the great World Turtle, stretching in reaction to bearing the weight of the world. As a culture with no writing, the Polynesians not only used tattoos as talismans of protection and spirituality, but as a way to exhibit their status. An ancient petroglyph that depicts a turtle with a vertical line drawn down its shell supports this mythology. Ancient Hawaiians believed that their "Aumakua" (guardian spirits) could take the shape of a variety of animals, including the turtle.
The curved, intact nature of the turtle shape makes it a good artistic choice for shoulder designs. These turtles are generally depicted cheerfully, viewed as a symbol that a positive attitude and determined effort spell success in life.


These bold, striking, rebellious designs are a symbol of the open road, and of the segment of society that enjoys it the most.
But times have changed and riding a bike has gone mainstream: many weekend bikers hold down conventional jobs and get their tattoos from a legitimate tattoo parlor. Most bikers have a tattoo on their arm because motorcycle gear usually covers everything else, but that doesn’t mean they are limited to the arm of course. Weekend bikers might have one or two, but a sleeve or body shirt reveals a more hard-core commitment.
Every person, like the lotus flower, is already perfect and is only waiting to emerge and grow into that perfection. To Buddhists, this means that the plant can represent an avatar, an ascended soul who chooses to return to earth to guide other souls to the light of Nirvana. The Buddha is said to have been born from a lotus, emerging pure from its perfect, white heart.
The historic meaning of the lotus flower does not matter nearly as much as the meaning it holds for you. The designs can picture a stylized version of a rose (usually black) or incorporate a rose in tribal patterns.
A tribal turtle tattoo might have had a more significant meaning to one tribe than another, gaining particular importance through an association to family genealogy. A 19th century missionary to Polynesia recorded that Pa te Pou Ariki, Chief of the Takitumu tribe in Rarotonga (one of the Cook Islands) had turtle tattoos on both knees. It is said the great turtle Kailua would turn into a human female and appear to protect children playing on the beach from danger.
Obviously, a Harley Davidson tattoo is going to demonstrate a passion for Harley Davidson motorcycles. These colors, paired with the red lotus of the heart, make an unmistakable statement about intense devotion.
The interlinking images that can surround a lotus flower will add clarity to the statement you are trying to make. The missionary noted that the turtle symbol was "reserved for the chief alone," indicating that the turtle was deeply associated with the chief's genealogy. Gold and pale blue can be paired with the white lotus if your message is one of purity or holy guidance.
An image of the Buddha, for example, would make it clear that you chose the lotus to represent enlightenment or new beginnings.



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