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Tribal Dragon Tattoos

Deepa Kartha
Unusual yet striking, fluid yet fierce, and mysterious yet empowering, tribal dragon tattoos are one of the oldest tattooing styles to man. The wearer is looked upon as someone who is strong, independent, wise, and courageous.
This story helps you choose from a plethora of designs, whether for a boy or a girl. It also briefs you about the history of the dragon and its interpretations in different cultures.

Worthy of Consideration

In many Asian beliefs, dragons were paired with other animals/symbols that had a special meaning. Thus, if interested, you may either combine your dragon tattoo with the yin yang symbol (depicts balance of the opposites) or the tiger (king of the land).
Dragons are fantastic animals that have been a part of myths and cultures all over the world. They are looked upon by awe because of their qualities like power, strength, mystery, evilness, uniqueness, and spirituality.
These creatures have now become immortal because people all over the world are trying to portray one or more of these qualities present in them by getting dragon tattoos on various parts of their body. Did you know that all dragons are not the same?
You can choose from a variety of hundreds of thousands of designs that are differentiated on the basis of shapes, patterns, colors, cultures, etc. Whether you are going to get inked permanently or temporarily, it is important that you understand the meaning behind the design that you choose for yourself.
To do that, glance over the history of this magical creature and the various meanings it has garnered over the ages and across the many cultures.

History and Meaning

The term 'dragon' is derived from the Greek word drakon, which means a serpent or snake with lightning eyes. It has a different meaning in each culture.
  • For instance, in oriental cultures, it is defined as a graceful creature.
  • The Chinese see it as an intelligent animal that looks like a serpent without any wings.
  • However, in the Western world, it is looked upon as an evil creature with a lizard-like appearance.
These different connotations make it an enticing creature.
These designs are based on the representation of the dragons in these three cultures. In each mythological story, the symbolic meaning of the creature changes. Here are some of them.
Some mythological scriptures explain that the mythical animal is the creator of the world. It is believed that it was the rainbow dragon that created the Earth, including the mountains, streams, rivers, and even human beings.
According to another myth, the creature is the preserver as well as the destroyer of the world. Another meaning given is that of the protector.

Based on a Scandinavian myth, the creatures are associated with death, where they are considered to be sentinels who guard the graves. They are also said to have the power over the elements of fire, earth, and rain.
On the other hand, in Western mythology, they are shown as creatures that protected treasure. In the Western world, dragons are looked upon with fear as they are believed to be the benefactors of evil.
It is depicted to be a long, fire-breathing creature that causes death and destruction in the world. These fiery-tempered beasts also symbolize greediness; they are depicted as creatures who love stealing wealth and captivate beautiful maidens.
Most of the dragons found in Eastern mythology and folklore are kindhearted creatures who are believed to be symbols of good fortune and security. On the other hand, in the imperial culture, they are possessors of power and wisdom. They are also said to represent the divine and the spiritual. However, in the Christian religion, they stand for the devil.
People from different backgrounds and cultures relate to dragons because of their varied meanings and interpretations. The popularity of these designs has increased tremendously over the past few years. Most of the time, people prefer elaborate illustrations that cover their entire back, arms, or legs. 
Think twice, and then think once again before you finalize the design including where on your body do you want it. Come up with something unique that will be characteristic of your personality, and at the same time, sends across a strong message.