Wolves have captivated humanity ever since we laid our eyes on them. We first see them as predators and competition for prey but as time passes by, we slowly treat these animals as a companion to our daily hunter-gatherer lives. They aided our progress and up to this day, their successors still aided us by being our emotional backbone in times of struggles. No one could ever deny the wolf’s importance in building our society to its modern-day status. For this reason, wolf tattoo designs were made by tattoo artists and enthusiasts as an homage to their countless silent contribution and efforts to improve our way of life.
In this article, we will be discussing the rich background of wolf tattoos and why they have a large footprint in the tattoo industry. We will be giving you a background on the animal it was based as well as the meaning of having a wolf tattoo on your skin. We will also be discussing the numerous designs that sprung out from various tattoo artists and the usual body placement for this kind of tattoo design.
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What You Need To Know About Wolves?
What we know about wolves is a healthy mixture of science, mythology, and history. Throughout the numerous centuries, humans have learned a lot about these animals in a scientific manner, yet again, we’ve managed to mystify them and give them numerous meanings.
Depending on the culture, wolves are sometimes presented as dark, menacing predators of the night, always on the hunt for a frightened prey. Others consider wolves as great leaders and noble warriors. As they are closely related to dogs, wolves often find a special place in their heart of dog lovers as well.
Once Christianity spread all over Europe, wolves were demonized. They were seen as instruments of the Devil. Also, don’t forget the Big Bad Wolf from the story of the Little Red Riding Hood.
The Native American culture probably has the strongest connection to wolves. These folks perceive wolves as totems of wisdom, strength, and power and think of them as spiritual guides.
How Did Wolves Aid In Forming Early Human Civilization?
According to a leading US anthropologist, early dogs, bred from wolves, played a critical role in the modern human’s takeover of Europe 40,000 years ago when we vanquished the Neanderthal locals.
“At that time, modern humans, Neanderthals, and wolves were all top predators and competed to kill mammoths and other huge herbivores,” says Professor Pat Shipman, of Pennsylvania State University. “But then we formed an alliance with the wolf and that would have been the end for the Neanderthal.” Seeing that two of the three top predators, namely wolves and humans, formed an alliance means that there will be less prey for the Neanderthals and thus slowly but surely, the Neanderthals were about to end as a species. (source: www.theguardian.com)
This mutual symbiotic relationship proves to be the best arrangement for both species since humans will not expend too much energy to hunt for prey since wolves will be the one doing that task while humans will face the cornered prey which is considered the most dangerous part of the hunt for wolves. After the hunt, humans and wolves would share the meat and it is a win-win solution for all.
By contrast, there is no evidence of any kind that Neanderthals had any relationship with dogs and instead, they appear to have continued to hunt mammoths and elks on their own, a punishing method for acquiring food. Already stressed by the arrival of modern humans in Europe, our alliance with wolves would have been the final straw for Neanderthals.
What Is The Meaning Of A Wolf Tattoo?
A lot of meanings and symbolism can be related to a wolf tattoo. Having a single wolf as a tattoo can mean that the person who has it is a lone wolf (a person that prefers to work alone) or that he is a master predator that does not need a group to gain benefits which would translate to being a powerful and influential personality.
Having a wolf tattoo can also mean that you are a social being. Wolves are social creatures that prefer to go in groups or packs to achieve a common goal.
Another meaning that can be associated with the wolf tattoo is being loyal, devoted, and determined. This can be attributed to the characteristics of a wolf when hunting for prey. Wolves will not stop hunting unless they got a decent amount of prey.
Others also consider the wolf tattoo as a symbolism of love for family. Wolves tend to be very loyal to their pack and family and would do anything to let the pack survive. This is one of the reasons why one of the major houses in Game of Thrones has a wolf as their family sigil.
Not all meanings of wolf tattoos are rainbows and sunshine, however. Wolf tattoo designs also have a darker meaning behind its vicious face.
Wolf tattoos can also mean that the person who has it is cunning and evil since wolves in popular culture are seen as deceptive creatures.
Usual Designs For Wolf Tattoos
Wolf tattoo design is often seen as the jack of all trades in the tattoo industry. This can be attributed to the various designs present under wolf tattoos. Do you want a tribal tattoo with a wolf? Done! Tribal Wolf Tattoos. Do you want something colorful and not overly classic? Also done! Neo-traditional Tattoos. These are just a few design ideas for wolf tattoos. There are a lot more out there and all you need to do is to explore the web and find what best suits your personality.
Usual Body Placement For Wolf Tattoos
Like we have said in the previous section, wolf tattoos are the jack of all trades in the industry. This does not only translates to design options. It also includes body placement.
The wonderful thing about this tattoo design is that you can have it inked in any part of your body and it will still look great! (provided you chose a design that suits your body part. (you wouldn’t want to have a full-blown wolf tattoo behind the ear right?) If you are looking for a common body part to have your wolf tattoo inked, however, the usual places for wolf tattoos are the limbs (arms, sleeves, legs, and thighs), chest, and back areas of the body.
Those are just a few places where you can have your wolf tattoo inked but do not constrain yourself into these places. There are a lot of places in your body that would snuggly fit a wolf tattoo. Your imagination is your limit!
Wolf Tattoo Designs For Men
Here are a few images we saw on the web that beautifully features wolf tattoo designs on the male body.
- An arm tattoo of a low poly wolf with artistic detailing.
2. A leg tattoo of a wolf with streaks of paint as detail.
3. A sleeve tattoo of a wolf made with shards of glass.
4. A large sleeve tattoo of a wolf ripping through the skin with an aggressive face.
5. Another large sleeve tattoo of a wolf ripping through the skin with an aggressive face.
6. A large arm tattoo of a wolf in a dense forest.
7. A tribal-like chest tattoo of a wolf with its mouth open.
8. A small but intricate finger tattoo of a wolf.
9. A watercolor sleeve tattoo of a wolf with the cosmos as a double exposure.
10. A medium-sized leg tattoo of a wolf in art deco detail with geometric embellishments.
11. A large hand tattoo of a wolf with its mouth open.
12. A back tattoo of a man wearing a helmet made out of a wolf’s head.
13. Another back tattoo of a wolf as a helmet.
14. Another back tattoo of a wolf as a helmet with the woman wearing having indigenous details.
15. A large sleeve tattoo of a wolf howling to a full moon.
16. A large and highly intricate chest tattoo of two wolves and an eye on the sternum.
17. A sleeve tattoo of a wolf where the first half is a low poly rendition of its face while the other half is a realistic rendition.
18. Another low poly – realistic wolf face tattoo but this time it is inked on the legs.
19. An arm tattoo of a wolf’s paw with its face inscribed inside the pawprint.
20. Another wolf paw print tattoo that is situated on the leg.
21. A large and highly realistic tattoo of a wolf with blue eyes.
22. A large arm tattoo of a possessed wolf wearing the upper half of a skull with geometric detailing as its background.
23. An artistic arm tattoo of a wolf with three human arms constricting its face.
24. A medium-sized sleeve tattoo of a wolf with tribal details.
25. A medium-sized watercolor arm tattoo of a wolf in a dead forest howling to a blue moon.
Wolf Tattoo Designs For Women
1. A highly detailed arm tattoo of an American Indian girl and a wolf with Native American markings.
2. A large arm tattoo of a wolf with geometric detailing.
3. A highly realistic arm tattoo of a wolf.
4. A small back tattoo of a wolf with half of its face covered in flowers.
5. A shoulder tattoo of an angry wolf.
6. A large back tattoo of a howling wolf.
7. A back tattoo of a wolf with art deco detailing.
8. A small back tattoo of a wolf’s face with half of it in floral detail.
9. A medium-sized back tattoo of a wolf with blue eyes in bohemian detail.
10. A small behind the ear tattoo of an artistic rendition of a wolf.
11. A highly intricate sleeve tattoo of a wolf.
12. A large back tattoo of a realistic wolf with floral details underneath.
13. A medium-sized back tattoo of a realistic wolf’s face.
14. An arm tattoo of a low poly wolf.
15. Another low poly wolf tattoo on the back
16. A half low poly and half realistic wolf face tattoo on the thigh.
17. A large thigh tattoo of a bohemian wolf with aquamarine jewels on its head.
18. A medium sized thigh tattoo of a wolf.
19. A back tattoo of a tribal wolf and moon.
20. A large back tattoo of two wolves with one howling.
21. A neo-traditional wolf tattoo on the sleeves.
22. A side tattoo of a wolf in watercolor ink.