Did Vikings have tattoos?

Do you want to have sacred Scandinavian Vikings tattoos? How to choose the right picture? Why did they make tattoos with gods? Find the photos of tattoos and their meaning here!

brave viking

The peoples, who lived in Northern Europe, painted their bodies with some kind of symbolism, always emphasizing different qualities of their warriors (strength, courage, agility). These people traveled a lot, established trade relations with different other countries. So it is no surprise that one of the most wide-spread Viking tattoos symbols were ships: the Normans were certainly remembered in the world history for their militancy and bravery. Overcoming the dangerous oceans and seas, they managed to reach the coast of Iceland, Greenland and North America.

Vikings had a very rich culture and mythology, which has recently become extremely popular among lovers of ‘body painting’. Maybe this is the main reason, why the patterns on the body, which depicts Normans’ symbols are already made in every world professional tattoo salon.

Vikings tattoos designs

Vikings tattoos designs

It is difficult to say about importance of pictures that were depicted on the bodies of Vikings. However, the total value of the Vikings tattoos is still possible to identify: these tattoos emphasized the best human qualities such as bravery, courage, clear mind, etc.

Among the most wide-spread themes :

Vikings tattoos

  • drawings of ships, hinting at love of Normans to study the unconquered lands;
  • image of mighty warrior in armor with different axes and swords, emphasizing the huge courage and bravery of the Vikings;
  • drawings of Valkyrie, picking up the fallen soldiers from the bloody battlefield and sending them to Valhalla.

The Viking tattoos always have common geometric symbols and shapes. The most common of them are swastikas, tridents, triangles, crosses and different ornaments, due to which figures get the integrity and completeness.

Where should you put tattoo of the people of the north?

 tattoo of the people of the north

READ ALSO: Do tattoos cause cancer?

One of the most popular variants of the modern tattoo with Scandinavian design is a portrait drawing of a brave Viking on a shoulder. As a rule, this warrior is depicted with some weapons (sword or ax), and sometimes - in the armor or a helmet on his head. The picture may be complemented by a swastika, the contour pattern, etc.

Also the image of ships is very popular. Such patterns are mostly applied on the abdomen, back or arm. But there are also variants, when the tattoo flows from one body part to another.

This may be supplemented by tattooed images of birds, sea waves, etc. There are plenty of Viking tattoos ideas. In order to create a strong artistic effect there may be present elements of red, blue and other colors. For example, the blue sky and the waves, and a traditional red-and-white flag of the Scandinavians.

Viking tattoos ideas

Another design is a tattoo with the picture of various creatures known from the ancient mythology of northern peoples. This picture, in an allegorical sense, seems to reflect the power and strength of the legendary Vikings. In addition, some archaeological excavations suggest that the Normans decorated the flags of their ships with pictures of monsters, so in the context of the plot of ship the pattern of the beast will also be relevant.

And these are only some of the possible symbols of warlike Scandinavians! You can see a few examples on the photos. Nowadays people have a great interest in ancient disappeared cultures. This Viking tattoos are now becoming more and more popular. The few written records left by the Vikings, told them of the existence of a large number of different characters.

symbols of Scandinavians

The original value of the majority of the symbols of the era remains a mystery to this day, but despite this, many of them are widely used in tattoos today. Vikings are the ancient Scandinavians, who lived in the harsh climate of the north of Europe, where now we have Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. They were known as explorers, traders, warriors and pirates who raided and colonized large areas.

That heyday of the empire of Vikings was known as the Viking Age, and was a major part of the medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles and Europe as a whole.

Most Vikings were excellent sailors, as they lived near rivers and fjords. Already in childhood they were taught to steer the boat themselves.

viking tattoo with ship

For trade and raids the Vikings built a strong long trial of oak planks, fastened with iron rivets. Their long boat or ‘longsip’, as they called it, was able ‘to stand’ heavy winds and severe storms of the northern seas. They could reach 30 meters in length and were able to carry up to 60 people. Sail boats were brightly colored, in bad weather, they could be folded and used as a tent. The people loved them, so they always depict ships and boats on their own bodies.

Vikings loved to decorate their ships with a variety of carvings, such as the head of the snake or dragon. These figures, according to the Vikings were able to scare off the enemies, and a variety of sea monsters (as they were Gentiles they believe in monsters). Sometimes tattoos showed a brave large ship and a conquered monster nearby.

colorful viking tattoo

The Vikings’ boats had beautiful mystical names such as Long Snake, Sea Snake, Raven Wind. Now people like to write the ship’s name above the depicted Raven Wind. To navigate, they actively used the sun, moon and stars. So it’s clear, that there often were stars or sun above the river or ship.

Tattoos of ancient Vikings could be implemented as a courageous warrior image, and in the form of his ship, which was connected to Viking throughout his life. These pictures were usually situated on the arms.

There were also more complex images, such as a variety of weave in the form of knots, ancient icons in the form of crosses, swastikas, tripods. Such Vikings tattoos and meanings were connected with amulets.

viking symbol

Tripod consists of three curved lines, starting from a single center. It is often used in a variety of pagan rituals as a symbol of balance with nature - a ring system of the sign contains an element interlacing of three elements (Fire, Water and Air), going to infinity. Such symbol exists in other cultures too.

Modern tattoo of Vikings is basically a picture related to the glorious past of the Scandinavian countries, as well as some aspects of their lives. These tattoos remind us of the brave warriors and discover the secrets of the world of those times, when there was a lot of unknown things in the world.

cool Scandinavian tattoos

In fact, modern tattoos of Vikings still exhibit such traits as bravery, courage, determination, and fearlessness.

Tattooing has always been not just an ornament, but a visiting card. It showed the profession and social status of its owner. It is known that tattoos were not only for the soldiers or sailors, but even for the bakers and tanners in Europe at time when cities ruled by Guild artisans. Among this variety the special place was occupied by symbolic tattoos with a deep sense of the sacred. Scandinavian tattoos are certainly one of them.

Scandinavian style

So, if you're a fan of Scandinavian style and want to make yourself a tattoo, you should know that the Scandinavian tattoos are based on mythology, which is a branch of the German one and dating back to the ancient Indo-European history. Moreover, mostly these tattoos can be divided into two types: the image of the Scandinavian gods and animals belonging to the mythological tradition and tattoos with magical patterns, which consisted of 24 runes.

In the first case, the Scandinavian tattoos have the motifs that go back to the days of the Vikings. This is floating boat with the soldiers, the Scandinavian gods (Odin, Freya, Thor, etc.). When you select a picture, it is necessary to consider the whole its sense. So the boat is not just a vehicle for the raids, but also the final resting place after the death of the Viking.

Viking wolf tattoos

Viking wolf tattoos

Wolf pattern in Scandinavian style is very popular now. It has a lot of meanings. On the one hand, Scandinavians considered the wolf a noble and powerful animal. On the other hand, the legend told about the monstrous wolf named Fenrir, which was locked in the bowels of the earth. But in the end, he will break the shackles. The monster will devour the sun and come to an end.

Scandinavian tattoo composed of runes are even more difficult. This tattoo has interweaving knots, rings and the runes themselves. Runes are more ambiguous than the images of the gods. The Vikings believed that the application of a tattoo on the body was quite capable to change destiny.

wolf tattoos

A misuse of runes can even destroy its owner. For example, the rune Sovelu - a complete upgrade, revival and acceptance of force, but also the pursuit of integrity. This is a rune of the warriors. But not just the army soldiers, but the soldiers of the spirit. The properties of this rune were used by the Black Order of the SS during the Second World War. Double zipper in the buttonhole made these troops extraordinarily lucky. But only temporarily.

tattoo in the northern style

So, if you decide to get tattoo in the northern style, it is better to think over your choice to the smallest details. You’d better choose wisely!

Your comment
Add image

By posting your comment, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.