The Norwegian Tattoo is often connected to the Vikings and the area at the time. During the time when these Vikings walked the earth, Norway, Sweden did not exist as we know it today. Many of historic Norwegian tattoos are rooted in Viking lore. However, this isn’t always the case. The fascinating thing about Norwegian tattoos is that they have so much history and mythology behind them. In addition, these tattoos are extremely unique. When you see a Norwegian tattoo, you might not know what it is, but you will know it’s not like anything you’ve ever seen. Between symbols that represent the country of Norway and some Viking symbols, you won’t be short of ideas.
In this post we will talk a bit about the history of Norwegian tattoos and what they are rooted in. In the case of the Norwegian tattoo, there are plenty to talk about so for a big portion of this post we will talk about the different variations of Norwegian tattoo and what the meaning behind these tattoos represent. In addition, we will also show you a list of examples of Norwegian tattoos to look through. We hope you feel more informed about the subject when you finish reading this post.
Norwegian Viking Tattoo History
The Vikings, or Norse, are considered to be a people from the north. At this time, Norway was included in this definition which means many of the Norwegian tattoos are said to be Viking tattoos as well. This being said, there are still questions on if Vikings even had tattoos. However, there is one piece of evidence from history that says they did.
Much of this evidence stems from Arab statesmen who traded with the Norsemen because the Vikings didn’t have many literary works to refer to.
Ibn Fadlan is man that chronicled his travels and said these men were tattooed from their necks to the tips of their fingers. Much of these tattoos were described as symbols and figures of trees and of the green variety. It is more likely that these tattoos were more of a dark blue as they would have used the ash from wood to use as dye.
All this being said, there are many Viking and Norwegian symbols that are used as subjects for tattoos. The history is rich, and the designs are visually please so it makes sense that many would want to have these tattoos. Not only do they look great but is a fantastic way to represent the pride you have for Norway.
Norwegian Tattoo Variations
This is where we talk about the different variations of the Norwegian tattoos. Many of these examples will be symbols of Norway and many of them will be Viking symbols. We are not saying these are the only examples of Norwegian tattoos, but it will give a great place to start from.
Norway Flag Tattoo
The flag of Norway is one of the most popular Norwegian tattoo because it is a symbol that will create no confusion. The person with the Norwegian flag tattooed on their body are clearly prideful of a country that is important to them. The is red with a Scandinavian cross that is indigo blue and outlined in white. You can’t go wrong when choosing to get the flag tattoo of the country you have ties to.
Norway Coat of Arms Tattoo
The National Coat of Arms tattoo is of a symbol that dates back to the Middle Ages. It is one of the oldest symbols in all of Europe which makes it a great choice to represent the country of Norway. This symbol features yellow crowned lion standing upright and rampant. It is holding an axe with a white blade and yellow handle inside a red, shield shaped symbol.
Purple Heather Tattoo
The purple heather is a beautiful flower that just happens to be the national flower of Norway. The scientific name of the heather is “Calluna vulgaris”. This is derived from the Greek word “Kallune”. This means to brush or clean. The heather is native to Scandinavia, Russia, Ireland, North American and Scotland. If you are looking for creative ways to you use this flower outside of decoration it can be used for bedding, baskets, thatch for roofs and rope. The heather is said to symbolize good luck and admiration. It is also said to contain protective powers so putting these around your house can help protect you.
The Valknut symbol is one of the most recognizable Viking symbols. It is also known as Hrungnir’s heart, the knot of the slain warrior, Heart of Vala and Odin’s knot. In most cases it is considered to be the symbol of Odin himself. The word itself is created from two words. The first word is ‘valr’ which translates to slain warrior. The second word is ‘knut’ and that means knot. The lore of this symbol revolves around Norse faith. It is said that Valhalla, the god of death and war, Odin, would welcome all warriors that were killed in battle.
Another reason the Valknut is considered to be a symbol of Odin is because many Viking tombs contained figurines of animals and symbols that represented Odin with Valknuts drawn next to them.
While there is no official motto of Norway, the Kings motto is “Alt for Norge”. This translates to All for Norway and is a great way to have a lowkey tattoo that has all the symbolism of Norway in a very small package.
The moose tattoo is another symbol that is representative of Norway. The moose has traits that many of us would love to attain. The moose symbolizes courage, enduring, agility, grace, adapting, domination, bravery, gentleness and strength. The moose is a beautiful animal that is as impressive as it is calming. Seeing them in their natural habitat is something to be enjoyed and respected.
We left a great deal of other Norwegian and Viking symbols off this list because we could write a book about them. They are easy to find and if you are looking to get a tattoo with the Norwegian symbolism, you won’t have to look too far.
Once you have your symbol, find an artist you feel comfortable with to execute the tattoo. Let us know if you need help because we’d love to offer you a recommendation on an artist.