Viking Tattoos:Where Did They Get Them, and What Did They Mean?

Vikings had to be creative when it came to body art. Not only did they have to consider the fact that most of them were blond and thus couldn’t take advantage of the bold colors that people in other parts of the world could choose from, but they also didn’t have the conveniences of modern tattooing equipment and techniques. But that didn’t stop them from turning themselves into works of art by coming up with unique ways to express themselves through tattoos.

Are There Viking Tattoo Parlors

There aren’t any specifically Viking tattoo parlors but you can definitely find some stellar examples of Viking-inspired body art all over! (And let us know if you find a great place!)

What Kind of Ink Did Vikings Use

Evidence suggests that Vikings used a technique called cut-and-pierce tattoos to create symbols on their skin. To make these permanent marks, a Viking would have used an instrument similar to an awl or a needle made from bone. After making a small puncture in their skin, they would then place one end of thorns or twigs through that opening; if thorns were used, it was usually elderberry thorns (though other types of plants could be used). Once everything was in place–the thorn(s) going through their skin and sitting underneath it–they had to pull out what was holding up the thorn using threads attached to either end of it.

Which Body Parts Did People Get Inked

The traditional places to get a tattoo were hands, arms and face. The tattoos of Viking men were usually placed on their upper arm or biceps. Women’s tattoos were normally on their ankles. Because ink was so expensive, people would get symbols rather than pictures inked into their skin; these symbols represented something important to them (personal events or their names).

Was It Done in Color

No. The history of tattooing extends back to prehistoric times when people used thorns or sharpened bones to pierce their skin in order to apply pigments. The practice is believed to have begun in what is now modern day Indonesia, then spread through Asia over a period of thousands of years. There are records that suggest that some Mayan and Aztec societies used tattoos for ritualistic or decorative purposes. Despite such examples, it wasn’t until European explorers visited Polynesian islands during the 19th century that Westerners began having themselves inked as body art.

Were there Different Styles of Tattoos

Many people imagine Viking tattoos to be very similar to ones worn today—and they were. With one exception. Unlike modern ones, which are applied using needles and ink with anesthesia as a precaution (which also means they fade over time), ancient tattoos were cut into your skin using either a sharp tool or animal bones (sometimes heated). There’s no evidence that Vikings enjoyed getting inked; it was a matter of survival in an age when there weren’t many painkillers around. Because tattooing was such an intimate process, it was often used as part of an initiation rite into adulthood by sailors or soldiers to represent membership in their guilds. But mostly it was something only done to criminals who had been found guilty of violating religious codes.

Why Would People Get Inked Like That

Tattooing has been practiced for thousands of years. Originally a form of art (and one used to pass on religious beliefs or social status), body modification is an ancient form of communication. The first use of tattoos in Scandinavia is believed to have taken place around 500 BC during the Iron Age. When writing systems were still an undiscovered phenomenon in Scandinavia, communicating messages through ink drawings was a popular way to pass on knowledge across generations—particularly among seafaring communities like Vikings. In fact, as tattoos symbolized power, bravery and strength amongst Vikings it was common for prominent figures like chiefs or warriors to get inked with distinctive patterns in order to project their authority.