Lots of people may be surprised at seeing elephant tattoo designs on a friend, especially if they have no idea about the ulterior meaning of the symbol. The fact is that although animal tattoos seem to be popular, we tend to go for the cute (birds) or the ferocious (tiger) sort, and elephants are neither. However, what most people don’t know is that there are deeper meanings behind these animals, which make them highly viable as tattoo designs.
The behavior of elephants is one of the top reasons why they are attributed with so many good and meaningful translations. Elephants usually band in a group, with the females joining together to raise the children.
In fact, a single elephant is capable of keeping track of as many as 30 other elephants at any given time. These animals are fiercely protective of their young and incredibly respectful with their dead.
It is well documented that elephants bury their dead comrades and have a unique way of showing respect should they encounter a corpse during wandering. They would usually stand together and pass the bones of a dead elephant around the group before putting it back exactly how they found it.
This is perhaps why the elephant is regarded as they are the guide of souls and spirits in the underworld, according to Hmong legends.
Meaning of Elephant Tattoos Designs
In Indian culture, elephants are widely respected and believed to be a symbol of chastity. They are also viewed as representations of wisdom and patience. In fact, there is an Indian god called Ganesh, often seen as having the head of an elephant.
For some people, the elephant means success and prosperity. For this reason, it is not unusual to find elephant statues in a house with the hope of attracting success within its walls.
They were also used for battle during the old days, with royalty using the elephant as their primary means of transport. Due to their huge size, they automatically scare enemies and therefore equate with power.
In fact, the elephant is sometimes used as a representation of the king, the ruler, or the leader. It is believed that seeing an elephant is “good luck,” especially if it happens to be a white one. The white elephant, or the Albino elephant, is the most revered of all.
How to Be Creative with Elephant Tattoo Designs
There are numerous styles placed on elephant tattoo designs, usually depending on the likes of the person being inked. As mentioned, the white elephant is the most revered – but who wants a plain white image for their body art? This is why sometimes people defer from the normal grayish elephant image and choose to use brighter colors for their ink.
In some cases, elephant tattoo designs are adorned with different colors in strategic places as if they were carrying royalty. This way, people will be able to make their tattoo eye-catching while still staying true to the elephant’s meaning.
Best Place for Elephant Tattoo Designs
Most people who opt for elephant tattoo designs already have previous inks on their bodies. This is because attempting an elephant tattoo is highly ambitious, as the design is usually larger than the normal tattoo.
It is usually placed at the back or a large expanse of the arms. This is in deference to the actual size of the elephant. Of course, some people manage to make elephant tattoo designs look small and appealing at the same time – usually by copying the “Dumbo” elephant cartoon.
A small elephant head is also a popular option for those who want something that could fit on their feet or near their wrist. Luckily, these types of elephant tattoo designs don’t alter the symbol’s meaning for the wearer.
Tattoos & Body Piercings Expert, Contributor
Tattoos & Body Piercings Expert Julian is a freelance tattoo writer, beauty expert, traveler, and photographer. Her passion for body art over the past 7 years led to one of the internet’s greatest websites about tattoos and piercing.