Swallow Tattoos

Swallows are a staple of American traditional tattooing, and were first tattooed on sailors. They are as popular as ever to those who love travel and the sea, and are now done in other styles such as black and grey, realism, linework, dotwork, surrealism, and watercolor.

The meaning of a swallow tattoo was firstly to indicate that a sailor had sailed 5000 miles. They also mean a return home, as swallows would migrate, returning to their homes. A metaphorical return also meant that if a sailor died at sea, the swallow would carry their souls to heaven.

tumblr Josh Stutterby Melbourne, Australia
Traditional swallow and rose by Josh Stutterby in Melbourne, Australia.
tumblr Ryan Jessiman
Black and grey matching hand swallows by Ryan Jessiman at Old Habits tattoo in London.
tumblr Adrian Bascur
Surrealist starry sky swallow by Adrian Bascur in Viña del Mar.
tumblr Diana Katsko
Linework swallow by Diana Katsko in Russia.
tumblr Simona Blanar
Watercolor matching foot swallows by Simona Blanar at Black Bull tattoo in Prague.
tumblr Harry Harvey
Simple traditional swallow by Harry Harvey at Vagabond tattoo in London, England.
tumblr Hugh Sheldon Cloak and Dagger
Traditional swallow by Hugh Sheldon at Cloak and Dagger in London, England.
tumblr Dr. Woo
Dotwork and linework hand Swallow by Dr. Woo at shamrock Social Club in Los Angeles.

Which one is your favourite?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s