Traditional Panther Tattoos
In millions of instances, traditional panther tattoos have inspired tattoo artists and their canvasses alike, but what does this iconic tattoo that spans cultures, people and eras in human history symbolize?
The panther is an incredibly rare animal and isn’t actually a species on its own, but rather a subspecies of a jaguar.
Melanism is an overabundance of pigments, giving the panther it’s distinct dark appearance and as such, setting it apart from a jaguar.
The panther and its dark variance portray so many different concepts, whether the bearer wishes to tap into its hunting spirit, the shadow in the darkness that stalks its prey, the stoic gaze coming from its deep, intense eyes, its calculated and precise movement, or its roar that seems to echo to infinity, the list of sources of inspiration that this tattoo feeds upon is endless.
Traditional Panther Tattoo Meanings
The traditional panther tattoo has many different meanings depending on where you are in the world.
In South American Culture, it’s often depicted as a symbol of nobility and religious practices with Shaman and Mayan Priests wearing their fur to express their power and fierceness.
In Egypt, the panther symbolizes protection and guardianship with the Goddess Mafdel often taking on the appearance of a black panther.
They have also been seen drawn onto the tombs of pharaohs, indicating that they safely guided them through the underworld.
In traditional tattoos, the panther generally symbolizes the characteristics that someone admires for themselves such as bravery, boldness, strength, and grace.
Traditional Panther Tattoo Meanings in the Military
World War 2 saw a boom in the tattoo industry, with many soldiers opting for the eye-catching, boldness of the traditional panther tattoo.
Many also believe that the icon crawling panther tattoo made a great cover-up for the pin-up girl tattoos that were later banned in the military.
Regardless of what the reasons were for these traditional panther tattoos rising in popularity during that time, it was well suited to the incredibly brave men in the military, putting their lives at risk for their country.
To them and their peers, it’s a symbol of strength, courage and determination.
The most recognizable and iconic depiction of the panther in traditional tattoos is probably in its stalking or crawling position.
It’s a timeless classic which has been reimagined and redesigned countless times, but there are another handful of themes that stand out above the rest.
- Traditional Panther Head Tattoos
A traditional panther head tattoo demands attention, much like the person who wears it.
It’s meant to be a unique design that disrupts the way that a panther would normally be represented and as such, signifies the uniqueness of its bearer as well.
- Traditional Panther & Snake Tattoos
Snakes are cunning and sharp and will often not shy away from taking on prey bigger than themselves.
Representing them in a tattoo design alongside an animal as large and powerful as a panther could signify the importance of wit over brawn; taking a step back and using your head before resorting to violence or acting out of emotion.
- Traditional Panther and Dagger Tattoos
This is an example of another tattoo that boldly represents a hurdle in life that has been overcome.
Depicting this hurdle as a Panther is a testament to its extent and intensity.
- Traditional Panther and Tiger Tattoos
The panther and the tiger are both considered supreme in the cat world and as such are often portrayed in battle with one another.
While traditional panther and traditional tiger tattoos are equally impressive on their own, they are often coupled in a prominent tattoo design, showcasing them in battle with one another.
This could signify an internal battle that someone has had to endure.
- Traditional Crawling Panther Tattoo
As mentioned before, the crawling panther tattoo may be one of the most iconic tattoo designs in history and its teeth and claws are often exaggerated to showcase its fierceness.
- Traditional Panther and Traditional Rose Tattoos
Some would argue that it was Ed Hardy who first made the traditional panther and traditional rose tattoo design so popular, but in more recent years, it has been reinvented and now features the traditional panther and traditional rose in a morphing style.
Of course, there are plenty more designs that feature a combination of these two tattoos and the deep red and intense black colors compliment one another superbly.
Traditional Panther Tattoo Designs
Considering traditional panther tattoos have such a vibrant history, it makes sense that the majority of designs are done in an old school or traditional American style.
They consist of bold colors, minimal shading and appear very two-dimensional, but with panthers being as bold and beautiful as they are, there are endless design opportunities.
You can choose to stick to these traditional styles or take on a design as fierce and daring as the Panther itself.
If you’re considering a traditional panther tattoo, you may as well commit to something bold and eye-catching, because when it comes to these designs, they can’t be downplayed.
We hope that we’ve helped you to find plenty of inspiration for your next design.