When looking for a tattoo that will have meaning, there are a million symbols out there that would do the trick. From animals to flowers, nothing is off limits when looking for your next tattoo. Some of these images are easier to read, as far as meaning goes, than others. In this case, the tattoo we are going to talk about is something that protects us. We might have experienced some sort of trauma as a child or we have had bad things happen to us recently that we don’t want to happen again. For most people, to protect themselves from bad things happening to their body they wear some sort of armor.
Police wear bullet proof vests, samurais would wear armor as well. Even the knights of the round table would wear armor to protect their body when going into battle. However, when getting an armor tattoo, it doesn’t always mean you are protecting yourself from physical pain. It might be a reminder to not do the things you did before that led you to being hurt emotionally. People have been wearing armor for centuries and today is no different. However, they armor tattoo can have many meanings.
In this post we are going to talk about armor and the origins of armor. Then we will get into the stuff that we have all been waiting for; the armor tattoo meaning. We are going to discuss what it means to have armor tattooed on your body and what, if any, changes there are to the meaning based on the kind of armor that is used. By the end of this post we hope you have a solid understanding of what it means to have the armor tattoo.
Armor Tattoo Meaning
An armor design is a physical representation of a metaphorical armor that is worn by the individual, often to symbolize a hardening against trauma or tragedy experienced in the past. The appearance of armor is a sign of a warrior and a statement of strength, courage, and heroism. There are many different types of armor that work well in tattoo design, hailing from many different cultures. The type of armor can also suggest the heritage or family history of the individual, or simply an affiliation with that culture.
Armor designs are usually larger pieces that stretch across the biceps and/or chest, although any area of the body is appropriate. Depending on the personal significance of the armor, the placement may represent the experience that necessitates protection against force or violence. Gladiator-style armor is a symbol of the Roman warriors, often slaves who fought their way up through the ranks. Thick leather, or metal, rectangular plating is layered from the collar and over the shoulder, often rendered in greyscale or with hints of bronze tones. Samurai-style armor can appear much the same, though often covers a larger area, reaching further down the arm when designed as a sleeve tattoo. The Japanese samurai armor is more closely plated and therefore appears more intricate than the Roman-style. Hints of blue and grey are used to create the appearance of shining steel.
Regardless of what specific style of armor is chosen, tightly woven chainmail often accompanies the design, placed in the background or underneath the plating. The addition of chainmail creates a more detailed and intricate piece. Countless symbols can be added to the armor as well depending on the desired culture it is derived from, designed to appear stamped into the metal.
Blood or wounds rendered in dark or bright red tones symbolize battle and can be added to the piece. Battered or worn armor works well with the appearance of wounds. Alternatively, the armor can be designed to appear showing underneath torn or ripped skin, revealing the warrior within.
History of Armor
Until times like these, armor was used in combat by warriors and the process of making this armor was extremely labor intensive. The armor was not only used to protect the person wearing it but it was used as a social barometer and told of the groups the warrior was involved with. Today, technology has created much stronger and lighter armor that ever before. There are specific armors worn for different types of combat or the dangers that are faced by the person wearing it.
Before the armor of today, there were basically three styles of armor. First, came armor constructed out of fabric, leather or a mix of both. Next came chain mail armor that was constructed from rings of steel or iron that were woven together. Finally, you have stiff armor that could have been made from plastic, wood, horn, metal or anything durable and strong. In this last category you’ve got the plate armor that was worn in the Middle Ages by the knights of Europe. The armor they wore was made of large iron or steel plates that were linked by internal leathers and loosely closed rivets that would allow as much movement as possible.
The use of armor goes back further than any historical records you can find because since there has been human beings, there has been fighting. The first warriors like the Mongols used armor made of leather. Even fabric had its time as being used as armor as long as it was thick enough. The Green infantry of the 5th century wore armor made of fabric that had been layered multiple times.
Armor Tattoo Variations
Below are some of the different styles of armor you might see tattooed on somebody. There are just some of the more popular ones so we hope with these examples and the pictures we have below, you will get a good idea of some armor tattoos.
Shoulder Armor Tattoo
The shoulder armor piece is a common one in the tattoo realm. It really can look like any of the armor we talked about above but it is a great piece to represent armor without having it inked all over your body.
Medieval Armor Tattoo
Medieval armor can encompass many styles but you mostly see the tattoo look like the plate armor of the Middle Ages. These were the days when knights and kings ruled the lands so those that are fans of this time of our existence might be the ones to get a tattoo like this. It also looks great so it makes a great choice for an armor tattoo.
Celtic Armor Tattoo
Celtic armor varied depending on wear it was worn and at what time in history. However, by the time the 6th century BC came around, Celtic warriors were wearing chainmail into battle. In terms of tattoos, the armor could be inked to look like any material but the patterns and designs on the armor tattoo is what makes it stand out as being Celtic. For those representing their Celtic heritage, the Celtic armor tattoo is a great way to do it.
Viking Armor Tattoo
For those of Scandinavian heritage, the Viking armor tattoo might be the way to go. It is said that many Vikings wore little armor as only the wealthiest could afford it, but as time progressed, more of the Vikings wore armor. Even though we see it all over TV, there is no evidence that Vikings wore horned helmets, however, they did wear chainmail if they could afford it. Making chainmail was a tedious process and it was said to restrict movement and make it harder to fight.
Samurai Armor Tattoo
As early as the 4th century, helmets and Cuirasses were made in Japan. It is said that Japanese armor evolved from the armor that was used in ancient China. The armor that samurais wore was as useful as it was beautiful and unique. This is why it is such a popular choice for armor tattoo. Those that get samurai armor tattoo will be getting a very recognizable tattoo.