Tiger tattoos have different meanings to different cultures. The Koreans call the tiger the ‘King of the Animals’. In Hinduism the god Shiva, in his aspect of the destroyer, is depicted wearing a tiger skin and riding a tiger. In Chinese culture the tiger is often seen as a protector of men and often tiger skins were used to decorate a child’s room in order to bring good luck. Tiger tattoos thus can have a duality of symbolic meanings much like any other totem animal. Some Asian cultures have stories about were tigers, people that can change themselves into tigers. According to their legends, the Tibetans and Na-hsi of the Yunnan province in China have descended from tigers. The Na-hsi give tiger figures to boys and girls at their coming-of-age ceremonies and also to newly wed couples. Tiger tattoos have long been a fixture in indigenous tattooing in India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Japan. In these cultures it’s seen as a being of immense power, cunning, intelligence and sometimes savagery. Regardless, tiger tattoos are a beautiful addition to any collection of work and are often powerful and dramatic pieces. On a final note, a tiger seen emerging from one’s flesh, as in the picture, is often a symbol of inner strength and power.
When it comes to tiger tattoos this one is a bit different as it is not one of a ferocious tiger on the attack, which many of them are. This one is of a tiger who seems to be kicked back and relaxed with a very content look upon its face. Almost like it just got done eating its latest victim and is now resting and enjoying its full stomach. It is also somewhat rare to see a tiger tattoo that does not show its teeth or claws at all. It’s just sitting there acting like the cat that ate the canary. Being the ultimate symbol of power, speed and beauty this tattoo of a tiger seems to be playing to the beauty side more than anything.
I like tiger tattoos in general and I like this one. It is well done and it looks pretty cool but I don’t think I would get one just like it. I would want my tiger to show a bit of attitude. But then, the owners’ argument probably is that what we are seeing is the attitude. The tiger is calm and peaceful because it’s the toughest animal around and has nothing to fear from anything or anyone.
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