The Elephant is known to be the largest land mammals in the world. A male elephant can go up to 14 feet and can weight up to 15,000 lbs. Despite of its size, elephants are one adorable animal and have an captivating appeal to human. When trained, they can interact with humans under supervision. Its ears that are about one-sixth of its entire body and long flexible trunk are one of their most common distinctive and notable features aside from its humongous body size. Elephants play a significant part in the culture of certain countries like Thailand and Africa. Because of its characteristics and beautiful features it is known around the world. No wonder it is a popular tattoo design too. Elephant tattoos have different meaning to different people. If you decide to get an elephant tattoo, you may want to read some of the meanings or things that it represents. What are those? Read on to find out.
Elephant in Thailand
Elephant is considered as an important part in the history and culture of Thailand. An elephant is a cultural icon and a popular symbol of the country Thailand. With their strength, elephants played a big part during war. Elephant in Thailand is known for its intelligence and the ability to be trained and follow instructions. Its ability to remember and fine memory are also known characteristics of Thai Elephants.
Elephants, white elephants in particular are considered sacred and symbolises royalty in their country. In the history of Thailand, white elehants only belong to the king. It’s even included in the Royal Thai Navy Flag. One of the highest honours bestowed by the king is the “order of the white elephant”. White elephant is also a symbol of mental strength. It is said that a white elephant has strong and powerful mental ability and can be directed.
Elephant and Buddhism
In Buddhism, elephant is considered as a sacred animal. The white elephant is said to have played a significant role in the birth of Buddha. A story about Buddha’s mother who dreamt of a white elephant entering her womb makes the white elephant design tattoo a symbol for fertility. This makes it a popular choice for women who wants to conceive. An elephant design can also represent as a “guardian” to the bearer.
Elephant in India
In India. elephant is a symbol for wisdom. One of the most popular Hindu gods: Ganesh is represented by an elephant. This diety has distinct feature: it has a human form with a head of an elephant. Some also said that Ganesha is the god of success. It is said that the elephant brings good luck and can help move obstacles (for people who have pure heart and good intent). In Hindu, it is also believed that the earth is guarded by a mythical world elephants.
Elephants are also part of various religious practices in India. In Hindu iconography, elephant vahana does not only represent wisdon and royal power, but divine knowledge too. The significance of elephant in India makes it a popular choice of tattoo design of people whose religion is Hinduism.
Elephant in Other Countries
It is not just in Thailand and India that Elephant is given utmost importance. In countries like Sri Lanka and Laos, eplephants also represent royal powers. In Europe, Elephant is also a symbol of military. In Denmark, it symbolises sobriety, piety and docility, In Coventry, England on the other hand, elephant is a religious symbol.
Elephant in Africa
In Africa, Elephant is an important part of their culture. It symbolises power, stregth, dignity, and intelligence.Like in other cultures,it is also recognised for its life longevity, mental abilities, loyalty and size. In South Africa, elephant rustles is used in their coat of arms. This represents strength, wisdom, moderation, and eternity. It is also significant in the Ivory Coast and an elephant head is seen in the nation’s Coat of arms.
Different Types of Elephant Tattoos
Tribal Elephant Tattoo
With the significance of Elephant in different cultures and religion, it is not a surprise that the tribal elephant tattoos is a popular choice for both men and women. The tribal patterns is influenced by the different cultures and traditions. It is said that the tribal elephant tattoo is linked to nature. But because of the number of traits and meanings that the Elephant represents, it still depends on its bearer. This design is said to originate in Native America.
2. Dali Elephant Tattoo
Another popular elephant tattoo design is the Dali Elephant. The name came from a Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. It is a common design for hippies because of its artistic design – an elephant with spider thin legs. The exact meaning behind this beautiful design is not yet clear but it is said to represent masculinity or masculine features.
3. Cute Cartoon Elephant Tattoo
A common tattoo design mostly for female are the Cartoon Elephant tattoo. The adorable and cute design symbolises innocence, youth and curiosity. This design also often works as a reminder of happy childhood memories of the bearer. A common Cartoon Elephant character is Dumbo, which is a popular character all over the world.
4. Pink Elephant Tattoo
A Pink Elephant Tattoo is yet another common tattoo design. It is popular among the female because of its girly color and feature. It is said that the design originated from the word “seeing a pink elephant”. It is a term used in a novel by Jack London during the 1900s. The term is said to describe hallucinating after a drinking binge. Another known association for this tattoo is Dumbo who after drinking water with champagne saw a parade of pink elephants. This tattoo design often represents the party animal side of the bearer.
The Elephant Tattoo Design may also represent one of the known leadership traits of the female elephant. This makes it one of the most popular tattoo design for both male and female.
Elephant tattoo may represent one’s social intelligence. Female elephants are known to be the one who leads the herd. They are the ones who maintain the connection of the group. It can mean that the bearer is prepared and know what to do in any situation. It may also mean that he or she has no problem in managing his or her emotions and is not afraid to show empathy.
Another important leadership trait that the tattoo may represent is patience. The size of the elephant does not equate to its speed. Even though the elephant is not that fast, it can still meet its needs. The elephatnt tattoo design may also mean that the bearer is calm and patient. He or she is not in a hurry to make any decision. He or she faces life in a calm and confident manner.
Female elephants are known to exude confidence especially in leading their herd. To a bearer of an elephant tattoo, this may mean that he or she is confident without being arrogant. It may also mean that the bearer is committed to everything that he sets his mind on.
Matriarch are attentive to the needs of her herd, most especially to the young ones. The female elephant teaches and guides the baby elephant. They are known to be compassionate towards the herd. Elephant tattoo design may meant that one is compassionate towards the others. It may mean that they have the ability to listen to others and understand where they are coming from.
Female elephants are known to have an effective leadership and it is said to be brought by being open to the herd. Elephant tattoo design may also mean that the bearer is thinks of others and is the type of person that is open to suggestions. This may also mean that he or she is open to improve his or her live.
Elephants are known to represent wisdom. The elephant tattoo design may also mean that the bearer has the ability to make wise decisions. Wisdom is often associated with decisiveness. Bearers of this tattoo also choose this to represent their ability to make a wise decision even in difficult situations.
TRAITS AND BEHAVIORS
- The charming mammal is known to have deep bond with their family. They value family ties. The oldest female elephant or matriarch is the one who lead their group called herd – they live in matriarchal family group. A herd can have as many as a hundred elephants depending on their family size. Matriarchs are loyal to their herds. They are very protective especially to their new born family member. Unlike female elephants, the male elephants leave the group at a certain age and lead a solitary life.
- With the elephant’s gigantic size and undeniably vast strength, they are considered as one powerful mammal. But inspite of these characteristics, they are very quite and unassuming. Elephants are calm but has a dominating precense.
- Female elephants are born leaders. Like what we’ve said, the oldest female elephant leads the group. It shows that in their unique structure, they value wisdom. The female head has more experiences that contributes to better understanding and problem-solving. The female head have extraordinary skill such as strength, compassion, patience, decisiveness and social intelligence among others that earns respect of the group.
- Elephants live longer than the other animals. Elephant is also a symbol of longevity because of their long lifespans. An elephant can live for a minimum of 70 years.
- An elephant tattoo symbolises strength – aside from their size, it is specifically their tusks that is a symbol of great strength.
- Elephants are also known to represent discernment and communication.
- Other symbolic meanings include nobility, determination, happiness and prosperity.
Here are some of the beautiful elephant tattoo design that you may want to consider.
THINGS TO KNOW WHEN CHOOSING A DESIGN:
- There are tons of artistically beautiful elephant tattoo design for you to choose. Remember that when picking a tattoo design like an elephant, the more detailed the design, the more bigger it will be.
- Simple design are popular choice for female while the bigger, more elaborate elephant tattoo design is more popular to male.
- If you are getting similar tattoo with your friends, consider getting an elephant design. You can either choose to be inked with one elephant tattoo or opt for more than one. Tattoo design that features more than one elephant often represent friendship, It is a great symbol for loyalty and friendship.
- Black is the usual color for tattoo. For elephant tattoo design, we have mentioned some that has a different color like the pink elephant. A more detailed tribal elephant tattoo design can also be drawn in a variety of colors. It totally depends on you and your preference.
- Placement of the tattoo depends on your preference. Common site includes back of the neck, shoulder, inner arm, upper arm, wrist, back, ribs, legs, and ankle.
- For tattoo newbies, fingers, wrist, forearm and ankle are popular choice of placement. Shoulder blades and chest are more popular to tattoo enthusiasts.
- When getting a tattoo, consider whether you want it to be exposed or discreet.
- Consider having it in a discreet place if you are working in a formal setting. You can still have a tattoo, just make sure that it will work for you and will not affect your job.
- Consider having your tattoo in the place where you will be most comfortable with. Remember that the tattoo will stay with you for a long time and you have to think of the situations wherein having a tattoo is involved.
- Don’t get a tattoo just for the sake of it. Take your time to think and do your research.
- You should know that the tattoo will take time to heal. You have to be knowledgeable of the aftercare to prevent complications.
When getting a tattoo, make sure to choose a design that represents you. An elephant design is always a good choice as it has a lot of positive symbolic meanings that is perfect for both men and women. So have you decided which one to get? Good luck!