Elephant Tattoos & Elephant Tattoo Designs
Elephant tattoos are popular not only for the beauty of the animals but for their meaning for Indian cultures.
These animals were always prized and respected by ancient cultures in India and Africa because of their massive size and power.
These large creatures were also prized for their ivory and because of this have been reduced to very small numbers.
Elephants were seen as the symbols of rulers, kings, emperors because of their majestic size and power. They were even used in battle, they were nearly impossible to truly control and manipulate. Because this they were mainly a psychological weapon against enemies who had never seen them before. An example of this is when Hannibal marched his troops into Rome atop elephants, the Roman legionnaires believed they were facing monsters.
In India elephants are worshipped as symbols of divinity and kindness. The Indian God Ganesh is represented with an elephant head. He is often represented in Hindu art and on ancient Hindu temples. Today, Elephants are still considered sacred and found in a number of Hindu rituals, in which the elephants are bathed and anointed with special oils. Color is important as well, for the elusive Albino elephant is considered to be the most sacred and revered of all elephants. It is a symbol of royalty and the Gods, anyone who sees one is supposed to be particularly blessed by the Gods.
Elephants themselves are very loyal and benevolent creatures. They will come to the aide of any fellow elephant in need, and if an elephant dies, the others will remain by the body for several days. They also have an excellent memory for good watering holes and their traveling routes, because of this they are also strong representations of wisdom. Other meanings of an elephant are fidelity and longevity.
Choosing elephant tattoos should be based on their deep meaning or a sincere love of the animal as it is often a unique idea for a tattoo and will often spur a conversation. Elephant tattoos, like any tattoo can be placed anywhere on the body depending on the size and detail desired. Small tattoos of just the head or a simple body image are commonly done on the top of the feet or on the arm.
Larger tattoos are often done on the back or chest. These can be done in a variety of different styles and can incorporate a number of different elements. The tattoos can either done realistically to directly resemble the look of an elephant or they can be done in artistic style, these are normally modeled after representations of elephants in Hindi art. Since elephants have a variety of different meanings, these meanings are often incorporated into the design.
For people who want to express the loyalty aspect of elephants, two elephants with trunks intertwined can be shown to express love and devotion. For people who want to express the wisdom aspect of elephants, symbols can be incorporated into their forehead, such as the image of earth. For the Hindi artistic style tattoo the elephant is more detailed and exotic. Some versions will have extra limbs or be draw with representations of clothing.
Contrary to popular belief elephant tattoos do not have to be solely gray, many people choose to fill them with color. African art incorporates a variety of coloring styles in which small abstract shapes fill the outline of the elephant and have a number of bright primary colors.
There are a number of celebrities who have chosen to get elephant tattoos for their symbolism. Model Ehrinn Cummings has two elephants on her lower back. Elephant tattoos are also very popular with Indian celebrities.
When you are looking for an elephant tattoo keep in mind the size that would be necessary in order to incorporate detail. Unless you simple want an outline or a tribal design, a large space is usually necessary.