Whenever you think of something powerful and ancient, the word DRAGON must’ve come to your head. Who doesn’t like dragons? Everyone does, and if you’ve seen Game of Thrones, you know what I’m talking about…Dracarys!
Dragon tattoos have always been in trend in almost all parts of the world, designed to portray a vigorous message about oneself ranging from greed to astuteness, and power to capriciousness.
Elegance with incredible power is its one of the main attributes. Though they occupy our books, flicks, and TV shows, they have a long and rich history in many forms.
Different Dragons have diverse meanings in different cultures: in the West, the dragon is seen as an evil creature, in the East as a benevolent and kind. The meaning of a tribal dragon tattoo is usually something peculiar.
History & Origin
The word “dragon” comes from the ancient Greek word “draconta,” meaning “to watch,” suggesting that the beast guards valuables. Dragons are among the most popular and enduring of the world’s mythical creatures.
Dragon tales are known in many cultures, from the Americas to Europe to India to China. In legends and fables, dragons are magical, yet early naturalists often treated these creatures as part of the natural world.
People always have varying ideas and descriptions of dragons, some dragons have wings; others don’t. Some dragons can speak or breathe fire; others can’t, and the list goes on.
The Chinese dragon is a creature in Chinese mythology that also appears in many other Asian cultures and is sometimes called the Oriental/Eastern dragon. The Chinese dragon is easily recognizable for its long serpentine body that is usually wingless, and its anthropomorphic appearance with a beard.
Dragon Tattoos Meaning
Chinese Dragons are represented as a symbol of imperial authority and power. A Japanese Dragon, also known as “ryū” or “Tatsu” is not so different than Chinese dragon, large and wingless with a horned head.
Vietnamese dragons symbolize rainfall, existence, growth, and prosperity. Similarly, in the Korean culture, dragons are regarded as purveyors of clouds & rain and are linked with water and agriculture.
American dragons depicted in North American & Mesoamerican mythologies are mainly serpentine in structure. The “Horned Snake” is a common dragon in US and Canadian mythic which is believed to come to the aid of young women.
Dragon Inking & Symbolicities
The “Nine Classical Types” of dragons as illustrated in art and literature, which can be considered for inking are:
- Tianlong, The Celestial Dragon, signifies the protectors of Gods and Heavens.
- Shenlong, the Spiritual Dragon, symbolizes total control of wind and rain.
- Fucanglong, the Dragon of Hidden Treasures, symbolized as the protectors of precious gems and other valuable earthly elements.
- Dilong, the Underground Dragon portrayed as the female counterpart of the Shenlong which fly only in order to mate.
- Yinglong, the Winged Dragon, depicted as the oldest of all eastern dragons.
- Jiaolong, the Horned Dragon, symbolizes being the best, strongest of all.
- Panlong, the Coiling Dragon embodies the love for waters and oceans.
- Huanglong, Yellow Dragon, which arose from the river Luo, represents the elements of writing.
- Dragon King, King of All, actually consisting of four dragons presiding over the four seas having the ability to shape-shift, portraying one’s ability to rule over all and be most influential.
Tribal & Celtic Dragon Tattoos
Celtic dragons are different from Western Dragons as they are not villainous or malevolent. They are the most dominant Celtic figure for a reason that they are considered as “Gatekeepers” to all the mysteries of the Universe.
A tribal dragon tattoo provides you the best of both worlds: an ancient eastern mythical beast combined with an admired form of tribal art. Celtic dragons make for tremendous tribal dragon tattoos for men, with their sophisticated loops and knots crafting the details in the ink-work.
Things You Should Take Care of Before Inking Yourself
- Be mentally prepared as you are going to show the world something about yourself and your persona, it should be exactly what you want, don’t settle for anything else.
- Take your time and carefully decide the design and style of your Dragon, because you’ll be stuck with it for life. Never ink yourself on a dare or some split-second decision.
- Research as much as you possibly can about your tattoo and your tattoo artist. Ask your friends and other customers, do online research.
- Choose the best area of your body to get the tattoo on because again, it’ll be with you for the rest of your life.
- Make sure the ink your artist is using should be of the best quality. Research.
30+ Dragon Tattoos for Men & Women