Traditional Skull Tattoo

American Traditional Skull Tattoos Explained

Traditional Skull Tattoos

Proud and strong, the American traditional skull tattoo combines bold colors and rustic imagery. 

Skull tattoos originate as far back as early sailor days.

Their direct connection to mortality makes them a reflective and meaningful tattoo subject.

However, the American traditional skull tattoo is far from a sorrowful image.

Weaving aspects of mortality with the spiritual, we are left with beautifully honest dedication to our cycle of life. 

Traditional Skull Tattoo Meanings

Skulls, in general, are prevalent in all corners of culture.

From literature and religion to art and video games, a skull tattoo is reminiscent of an abundance of things.

Consequently, traditional skull tattoos are easy to personalize.

Below are just a few common meanings attached to the American traditional skull tattoo.

Cycle of life and death

Throughout life and death, we carry under our exterior a skeleton.

This is a constant. 

The skull is what keeps us alive as it guards some of our most important components: eyes, teeth, ears and of course, the brain.

We rely on it heavily.

Even in our death, our skull is one of the few remaining things.

Its unwillingness to decay fully after hundreds of years is symbolic of the longevity of life and its memories. 

A traditional skull tattoo acknowledges the closeness of life and death, as part of a cyclical nature.

Wisdom

As aforementioned, the skull is paramount to protecting our brain.

The very organ that gives us information about everything.

The sheer age of skulls, and how they exist long after our other physical parts disappear, is wisdom at its finest.

There is a reason why skulls are always so popular in culture, tales and religion.

Their wisdom is something we look at and learn from repeatedly over the history of our existence.

Reinvention

Embarking on a part of your life that sees you reinventing and changing rapidly?

This is a common part of life, and the traditional skull tattoo is a fantastic piece about reinvention.

There is nothing as pure in consciousness and personality as the skull.

If you feel you need to fully express your true self, the traditional skull tattoo is a perfect way in the right direction.

Main themes in Traditional Skull Tattoos

Aside from the above meanings, there are original ideas which have born out of the usual traditional skull tattoo.

They play with some of the meanings and create visual imagery which tells a story without even having to speak a word.

Traditional Skull and Rose Tattoos

One may believe a traditional skull and traditional rose tattoo to be a contradiction.

We look at the rose as a symbol of adoration and grace, whilst the skull is wrapped in the cycle of life and death.

When you combine the two, the result is a complex mix that accurately represents the struggle and balance of these things in our everyday lives.

They are not separate but intwined, and many traditional skull and rose tattoos present this by having the roses grow in and between the skull.

Traditional Skull and Rose Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Rose Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Rose Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Rose Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Rose Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Rose Tattoo

Traditional Cowboy Skull Tattoos

Arguably the most playful skull tattoo around, the traditional cowboy skull tattoo takes the common skull image and spins it on its head. 

Giving the skull a sharp, square bone structure and a big, toothy smile, our cowboy skull is finished off with the most important part: a cowboy hat.

Visit the wild west and its adventure with an American traditional cowboy skull tattoo.

Traditional Cowboy Skull Tattoo
Traditional Cowboy Skull Tattoo
Traditional Cowboy Skull Tattoo

Traditional Skull and Snake Tattoos 

Traditional skull and traditional snake tattoos are incredibly illustrative to look at, making them brilliant for the American traditional approach.

Snakes are secretive, mysterious creatures with slick bodies that move carefully.

They are often perceived as omnipotent, too, which plays into the skull’s ideas of nature and the mind beyond what we know as life.

Traditional Skull and Snake Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Snake Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Snake Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Snake Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Snake Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Snake Tattoo

Traditional Skull and Crossbones Tattoos

Seen on flags, skull and crossbones have become iconic imagery.

Traditional skull and crossbones tattoos are, simply, pretty scary.

If you decide to have this brilliant design tattooed on you, you are sure to be a confident and self-assured person who relies only on themselves, making it a bad-ass choice.

Traditional Skull and Crossbones Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Crossbones Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Crossbones Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Crossbones Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Crossbones Tattoo

Traditional Skull Butterfly Tattoos

Traditional skull butterfly tattoos are the ultimate statement of rebirth. 

Transforming from a caterpillar, butterflies beautifully unravel into colorful, yet delicate, creatures.

They only last for a short time, but their representation of birth and rebirth is a poignant one. 

The butterfly as a skull strips down the spiritual aspects to its core, vulnerable and confessional.

Traditional Butterfly Skull Tattoo
Traditional Butterfly Skull Tattoo
Traditional Butterfly Skull Tattoo

Traditional Skull and Dagger Tattoos

The vision of a dagger penetrated through a skull is so vivid, especially in the bold lines and color of American traditional design.

A traditional skull and dagger tattoo is courageous.

Maybe the tattoo includes splatters of blood, an open-mouth expression or a sparkling dagger.

However it is represented, skull and dagger tattoos are undeniably a symbol of your bravery and knowledge.

Traditional Skull and Dagger Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Dagger Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Dagger Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Dagger Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Dagger Tattoo
Traditional Skull and Dagger Tattoo

Traditional Grim Reaper Tattoos

The grim reaper tattoo is commonly associated with the concept of death, which creates a scary atmosphere around the image.

However, when combined with the American traditional style, the grim reaper is a sign of fearlessness in the face of death.

The redefinition of death as a part of life, a signal of courage and unlimited strength.

Traditional Grim Reaper Tattoo
Traditional Grim Reaper Tattoo
Traditional Grim Reaper Tattoo
Traditional Grim Reaper Tattoo
Traditional Grim Reaper Tattoo
Traditional Grim Reaper Tattoo

Traditional Skull Tattoo Designs

Mixing meanings and themes of all kinds together, tattoo designs of the traditional skull are plentiful.

Below are a few fantastic traditional skull tattoo designs that others have created.

Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo
Traditional Skull Tattoo

Conclusion

Always a popular object, the skull has become the focus of numerous American traditional tattoo designs.

Whatever the placement or theme, there is something untouchable and breathtaking about traditional skull tattoos, with their carved-out features, hollowness and omnipotence. 


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