In this continuous flow of information, a lot of new trends coming in and out of fashion, somehow, the traditional patterns and designs connected with the Viking culture stay stable afloat and don’t show any signs of dropping popularity in the nearest time.
Why Do People Choose Nordic Tattoos?
For those looking for a symbol with meaning to put on skin, it is important to have strong associations with how he or she takes this world. There are mainly two reasons why people choose Viking tattoo designs:
· To show their Viking roots, their belonging to the brutal Norsemen.
· Because they are in love with the Norse mythology and culture (and we truly understand why), or it is close to what they seek. People always want to be mysterious and search for the hidden powerful meanings and history behind the symbol they choose for a tattoo.
Many celebrities chose to place Norse tattoos on their bodies for one of the reasons above. Thus, Icelandic singer Bjork tattooed runic compass Vegvisir, the wayfinder, the symbol of guidance and protection; actress Alyssa Milano got Ouroboros as a symbol of rebirth. The Viking tattoos were given a major role in the computer game and film Max Payne.
Did Vikings Wear Tattoos?
The interesting moment is that there is no 100% evidence that body drawings were popular among Vikings. Although, all we know about the pirate raid (the meaning of the word ‘Viking’ in Old Norse) people is taken from the archaeological findings, sagas, and descriptions left by the historical figures who contacted them, because the Norsemen themselves never left much data of their doings.
When sailing down the Volga River in Russia, in search for trade partners, the Arabic writer and traveler Ahmad ibn Fadlan meets the Rus (commonly known as Vikings) for the first time and describes them as ‘tattooed from fingernails to neck with dark green trees, figures, etc.’. After deciphering his words, the scholars agreed that the word ‘green’ in Arabic could also mean dark-blue or black, while ‘tattooed’ could be also interpreted as decorated or painted. What ibn Fadlan saw most probably could be the knotwork so popular among Celts and Vikings of that time.
Popular Symbols for Viking tattoos. Trends in 2018.
One can be paralyzed with the variety of the Norse designs and we are here to help you out!
There are several Viking tattoos categories we would mark out:
· Runes and knotwork. The most popular symbols containing runes are Vegvisir and the Helm of Awe. We’ve mentioned the first one earlier, as for the Helm of Awe or Aegishjalmur, it is a powerful protection symbol. The calligraphy and lettering popularity in the world trends today indicates the return of all possible old scripts and signs to set up amazing phrases not only on paper but on your body too. Go ahead, but be careful with the meanings.
· Animals and creatures. In addition to Odin’s Sleipnir or ravens Huginn and Muninn, there is a wonderful creature in the Norse mythology that would be a great option for tattoos for men: Valkyrie, a female winged figure that flies over the battlefield and decides who will live and who will die. After that Valkyrie leads the dead warriors to Valhalla. We would also put the Ouroboros here, a serpent eating her tail thus representing a continuous ring, the endless life cycles.
· Viking gods with Odin, Thor, and Loki the most favored of them. The images of gods are taken from the pictures from historical documents or from the popular comic books and films or can be drawn by the tattooist.
· Viking image. Despite being faulty, the most popular image for tattoos is a big brutal bearded man in a two-horned helmet with a sword or an axe in his hand. Due to the popularity of the TV series Vikings inspired by the saga of Ragnar Lodbrok, the characters from this series also became trendy in tattooing.