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Tribal Skull Tattoos

When tribal skull tattoos appears, people initial reaction would be fear. Why not? It was basically ingrained in the human psyche that skull means death. You see skulls in poisonous substances and dangerous places, like “beware of dog” signs. So people’s reflex reaction would be to stay away, do not touch or be cautious. So if the skull symbol emanates fear, why is it that the skull tattoo not limited to ex-cons like they do in movies?



Around the same time the symbol also mean “memento mori”which was Latin for “remember your mortality” or “remember you will/must die”.

The famous Knights Templar used the symbol as well, according to the Masonic legend, when the Catholic Church ordered the disbandment of the Templars, they had the 23rd and last Grand Master Jackes de Molay burned alive. When the remaining Templars looked for his bones, the only parts they found were his skull and femurs. At the time, the Templars were already mariners and so they used de Molay’s remains as their nautical symbol: the Jolly Roger.

The skull is a symbolic reminder of the fact that we are mortal beings and death will come to everyone. This should help one understand the importance of life. This tattoo should therefore remind one to not fear death and live one’s life to the fullest. The skull does have religious or spiritual connotations. Death can also be perceived as a transformation or the biggest change in life. It may represent rebirth. In Mexico, The Day of the Dead is celebrated to reminisce those who have passed away. A sugar skull, which is a white chocolate that is shaped like a skull, is placed on the altars or the tomb to honor the spirit. These days, sugar skull tattoos have also become quite popular. The skull may be a symbol of power. It may represent one’s desire to overcome the fear of death or confront one’s fears. Though these tattoos are very popular among bikers or gang members, these can be sported by those who wish to exhibit their wild side. It may be used to symbolize masculinity.As mentioned earlier, tribal tattoo art involves the use of thick strokes that look like flames or swirls.
The curves, bold strokes and sharp points involved in these types of tattoos would certainly require a steady hand. You can get this tattoo anywhere on your body, but it looks great on the bicep, forearm, shoulder or back. The skull and crossbones tattoo is one of the common designs. You can also tell the tattoo artist to make a tattoo of a skull with a banner on the skull that carries your name. You can try a lot of variations.

The skull symbols were also used as insignia for the Nazi, Totenkopfconveyed the message of fear of death.   In 1809 Ottoman government entrenched actual skulls of Serbian rebels on the road to serve as a warning to other rebels, much like the skulls that adorn temples of the Indian goddess Kali. There are more than enough stories all through history that shows use of the skull symbols in morbid ways and in art. So it is no wonder that it has been translated to today’s modern canvass, the skin.

Although the most immediate notion when seeing a skull tattoo is danger, death and rebellion it is now not just that anymore.

Skull symbols can mean a lot of things and people now are more well-informed and can acknowledge that it is not limited to its negative meanings. Take the Celtic Skull, it symbolizes time, power, divinity, gateway, creation, initiation and concentration. Who knew? But there it is. Skulls can also be used to symbolize, protection, strength, overcoming death or a really difficult situation, or major changes.

A skull with a snake in its eye sockets symbolized knowledge and immortality of the human mind.

In addition, skulls now are not limited to traditional gothic images, it can even be made feminine with color (pink anyone?), flowers even rainbows. The irony makes it more interesting. Skulls are not limited to pirates, bikers and convicts. Today, even the sweetest most innocent girly girl can decide to get a skull tattoo, provided it comes with roses and butterflies.

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