Sailors hardly ever think of ourselves as members of the " culture of the tattoo ." Tattoo simply was part of their existence . Images of anchors , chains , ships entered from the everyday experience of seafarers. More complex images , such as " Grave of a sailor ," appeared later . It is believedthat "marine" tattoo reflects not only the involvement of a particular profession , but also serve as protection during long shipwrecks .
Common images and their meanings
Anchor , Anchor cross, warship rope ( the rope ) , a sailboat , "return to home port " , sea dragon , pig , rooster , knot , message in a bottle ,starfish, pirate ship, sailor, sailor's grave, ship lights.
For example , in the tradition of tattoo depicting a pig , is applied to the left foot , and the rooster picture - on the right . Because these animals are not strictly belong to the waterfowl , it is believed that they help their "master " to get back to dry land . Besides,It is known for its aggressive rooster , perhaps symbolizing the fighting spirit owner of this tattoo . The rooster was a symbol of the war ready . The ancient Greeks , he was associated with the sunrise and the cult of Apollo . The Chinese people born in the year of the cock , deep thinkers , prone to loneliness and mood swings .According to the beliefs of Buddhists , red comb and colorful tail feathers symbolize the pride and passion. The Japanese Shinto - cock signal associated with prayer wheels .
A common tattoo has become , and I quote the words of the anthem «Rock of Ages» - « Rock of times" , written back in 1776 .In this composition necessarily present shipwrecked woman clung to the cross , erected on a small rock surrounded by the stormy waves. The plot is inspired not so much by the sea as the biblical tradition. This is a typical allegory of the Western world , in which the rock - the symbol of the true Christian faith .Something in common with this tattoo shows the already mentioned " Tomb sailor " , which is an inherent part of the anchor ( option: spread out the wings of an eagle ) , towering over the image of a sinking ship . Another , purely sailor tattoo - " Message in a Bottle " - symbolizes the hope for the salvation of man , caught on a desert island .The category of tattoos "old school" relates the story back home : Clipper sailing with an appropriate inscription . In general, however , ship with sails filled by the wind - an independent plot, signifying safe swimming around the treacherous Cape Horn . Seafarers who have undergone this test was applied and other distinctions : for example,blue five-pointed star on the left ear . The asterisk on the right ear means five times round Cape Horn . About ten voyages a dangerous route resembled two red marks on his forehead .
Designed in oriental style dragon for American sailors it means that its owner served " in the Chinese direction."Borrowing ethnic motives here is particularly evident .
One of the most universal symbols - Anchor - sometimes carries more limited information , reporting that its support is served on Atlantic ships . Apparently , the anchor image came from the Mediterranean region , where in ancient times symbolized the sea gods .Anchor acquired a new symbolic significance in the era of early Christianity and became commonly depicted in combination with a cross. As such, it is also called the cross of hope (crux dissimulata). The early Christians , fearing persecution by the Roman authorities , counting on the fact that a prohibited symbol of the new religion will not be visible on the background of an anchor .Image of rope around the wrist once considered a hallmark of dockers ( tattoo as a sign of profession ) .
Sometimes the appearance of a tattoo was of a clear sense of dedication shade. For example, according izes Green ropes image was applied only after the second voyage .
Starfish , despite the name ,It has little to do with the same invertebrates and most of all like a five-pointed symbol of the Soviet era . Submissions western sailors it is associated with the North Star , one of the most important for the navigation of the heavenly bodies .