Interesting Facts About Swallow Tattoos

History of Swallow Tattoos

The swallow tattoo is said to be the representation of sailing capability for seafarers several centuries ago. Tattoos were displayed on the upper bodies of sailors who completed 5,000 nautical miles of voyage or more on rough seas. The most experienced mariner had the most number of tattoos. These were the experienced voyagers who have traveled all around the globe, and to have this tattoo represented the emblem of eminence. Likewise, swallows helped in finding directions during those early times. When navigators saw these birds, it meant that the ship was near the shore. It was an indication that the journey has been completed successfully and the sturdy sea travelers were finally home. The myth was that swallows were responsible for bringing the souls of sailors who died while in the midst of an expedition to heaven. As a result, swallows were treated with utmost esteem and confidence.

Should You Get One?

The swallow tattoo has emerged once more as a popular design for men and women in these modern times. Apart from the significance mentioned above, this tattoo has several other meanings such as the following:

The tattoo stands for a homecoming and sense of pride in your origins and people.
It meant faithfulness and true love. This bird will only have one mate for an entire lifetime so two swallow tattoos represented true love. The person gets this tattoo as a sign of commitment to loved ones, next of kin or very intimate acquaintances. In some Middle East countries, the tattoo was the beginning of a new affection.
The swallow tattoo means the triumph over an impediment or enduring an adversity in life.
It is also a symbol for having been incarcerated and gaining liberty. In short, you can see a lot of former convicts with this particular tattoo.
Finally, the tattoo epitomizes power. Strong and fierce fighters (such as boxers) had swallows stamped on their backs. In England and Australia, the tattoos were a sign of so-called fast fists.

Designs of Modern Swallow Tattoos

The conventional tattoo of a swallow imitates the variety and meaning of the skin design that the seafarers of early years sported. The original patterns were plain, understated and done in black or subdued colors. However, the modern-day swallow tattoos have more style and made up of multiple shades. People opt for these skin emblems for a variety of reasons. In fact, a number of movie stars like Johnny Depp and Christina Applegate love these tattoos. The meaning of sporting this tattoo has evolved during the past hundreds of years. It is related to well-being, prosperity, loyalty, and the difficulties of long-distance treks. Yet, it still has some relevance to the early maritime tattoos which were the preferences of mariners.

Females have these tattoos done on their shoulders, lower backs, necks and hips while males prefer the insignias on the neck, hands and chest. Tattoo experts say that it is important to understand first the meaning and history behind this tattoo before getting one.