A Maritime Classic: The Pig and Rooster Tattoo

21inkedd in Tattoo Ideas

Awesome pig and rooster tattoos will save your day. According to seafaring traditions they would keep a sailor from drowning.

Most old school tattoos were born out of the maritime world and the lives and adventures of sailors, the ship, the anchor, swallows etc. all tie back to a seafaring beginning, but so do the pig and rooster! Now at first glance a pig and rooster are not something you would associate with old school tattooing and it's maritime context but according to seafaring traditions a pig tattooed on one foot and a rooster on the other would keep a sailor from drowning! The origins of the superstitious symbolism is not fully known but there are two popular reasons behind the meaning of the tattoo.

The first is that since neither the pig or rooster can swim they would want to get back to shore as quickly as possible if a sailors ship sunk. On the other hand the tattoos meaning is seen to be derived from the wooden crates the roosters and pigs were kept in on ships. When a ship wrecked the light weight crates would often float and because of this the two animals had a high survival rate in ship wrecks, in light of this a sailor would get a pig and rooster tattoo for good luck if such an event happened to them!! Either way the pig and rooster were seen as a lucky maritime tattoo and still remain a popular tattoo today!

'Sink or Swim', Artist unknown
'Sink or Swim', Artist unknown
pig rooster tattoo by James McKenna
pig rooster tattoo by James McKenna
Bold work by Michelle Rubano
Bold work by Michelle Rubano
Great tattoos by Skyler at Electric Crayon
Great tattoos by Skyler at Electric Crayon

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21inkedd

@Robert Davies

Tattoodo Staff Writer and tattoo enthusiast. Lover of all things traditional and blackwork!

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