Cultures Tattoo Meaning

In different cultures, tattoos’ meanings are different to what you might expect.

The striking tribal patterns of traditional Maori tattoos might seem like they are purely decorative, but they are used to show rank and tribe affiliation.

The Japanese Koi tattoos that people wear are another example — they are beautiful, but within Japanese folklore they are a symbol for overcoming adversity because they climb waterfalls and swim through strong currents.

More people are getting Hamsa symbol tattoos. While the word itself means five in both Hebrew and Arabic, this striking design is packed full of cultural significance. If the fingers are parted, the symbol is meant to protect against evil. Closed fingers mean good luck.

It is always tempting to borrow from other cultures, but if you do, make sure you understand what each piece means in the native culture.