The time we are living in now is free from social restrictions and there are no boundaries if you want to achieve any goals. Everyone can express themselves in a way they want. Well, it is not that easy, and you must work hard, but the possibility is alive. However, the topic of tattoos is still twisted, even if the total freedom is declared.
The common believes that only sailors, convicts, carnies, and bikers are having tattoos; only skulls, naked women, and curse words can be taken as tattoos; the places were tattoos can be made are just nasty bars, dark ships, or jails are circulating in society since the ’70s. There is a little bit of truth here, but the root of this misunderstanding is caused by the lack of knowledge. Majority of people do not know that tattoos are centuries-old body art with deep meaning, and it came from different tribes around the world.
One of the best-known European tribes were Vikings who became famous due to their fast ships and unexpected raids. They were a warlike and superstitious nation, as a result, there are some written sources made by the Arabic travelers who noticed that Vikings were always caring their knives and axes with them and had body paintings dedicated to natural powers or their gods. Vikings used to wear tattoos all over their bodies, but the most important parts were head, arms, and back.
One of the most common Vikings tribal tattoos is called “Aegishjalmur” and it could be translated as “the helm of awe”. According to historic sources, it is an Icelandic symbol that provides courage to a person. This symbol can be surrounded by symbols of old Scandinavian runes including the most common M-shaped symbol for horse and the R-shaped symbol next to it that means “ride”. Another very similar symbol is called “Vegvisir”. It includes other symbols of supernatural powers that might lead the person through darkness and difficulties.
The common part of Scandinavian tribal tattoos is a knot of three interlocking triangles, and it is called “Valknut”. Some scholars explain this knot as a symbol that might be used in religious practices related to death or some religious practices dedicated to the main god of Vikings that was called Odin. Usually, this knot can be surrounded by a circle that is a snake eating its own tail. In Norse mythology, it is the serpent Jormungandr, one of the three children of other gods Loki and Angrboda.
The tribes of Maori were living on the other side of the Earth, and they used to have tattoos also. The specific tattoos of Maori were called “moko”, and they were marks of social status. The head was considered as the most important part of a human body for Maoris, as a result, the tattoos were made on face and neck usually. Every “moko” had an individual design according to the achievements and status of a person. These tattoos even included information about the abilities, for example, other people were able to understand is that person working as a soldier, or as a butcher. Maori women were also tattooed on their faces, the markings tended to be concentrated around the nose and lips while men had their tattoos all over their faces.