Skull | Atka Tattoo


Tattoo by Dr.Ink, Atka Tattoo, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Meaning of Skull Tattoos

Today we want to explain the meaning of skull tattoos. People with skull tattoos have their own reasons and subsequently own meanings for their tattoos. But there are some general meanings for different types of skull tattoos.  Many people consider skull tattoos to mean death or anger. Yet even in the beginnings of the art of tattoo, the skull was more than a symbol of death, it was a symbol of the celebration of life. Skull tattoos in ancient societies were meant as a nod to “great change” and the greatest change in life is the inevitability of death. Hence the association of skull tattoos with death.

Many religions have traditions of skull tattooing. In Christianity, skull tattoos often symbolize eternity or the human remains left behind after the soul leaves. In Kabbalah, skulls represent rebirth or an uplifting in recognition of the death of a loved one.

Traditionally, skull tattoos have represented triumph and rebellion, as used by pirates on their flags and in their tattoos. Skulls have also symbolized power, strength, protection or a significant life change. Often, skull tattoos represent that the bearer has overcome a great adversity.

The sugar skull is frequently associated with the Mexican Day of the Dead, a celebration of the life of those who have passed. The vibrant look of sugar skull tattoos mimics the upbeat and lively commemoration of this festival. These highly popular tattoos are often a tribute to a lost loved one and are fashionable with both men and women.

Tattoos that include both a skull and a rose often denote the contrast of life and death, or beauty and decay. A symbol of duality, the skull and rose tattoo is a reminder to the wearer of the contrast of good and evil and the balance of such philosophies in life.

Recently gaining in popularity, girly skull tattoos are often the choice of females. These skulls can have heart shaped eyes, pink or purple bows and other traditionally female characteristics. This type of tattoo is often chosen when a couple wants to have matching tattoos and a skull is preferred.

Regardless of the meaning of a skull tattoo to the wearer, chances are that others will misinterpret it. When choosing a skull tattoo, be prepared to explain what it means to you time and again to curious observers.