Skull is frequently used in many tattoos, and its popularity has been going on for decades. Once it was only popular among the sailors - skull tattoos with "Jolly Roger", famous pirate flag, depicting a skull and crossing bones, biomechanics style tattoos, and many other kinds – skull is very important for all of them.
Man understands the image of skull instinctively. The human mind is predisposed to face recognition, and so it wants to imagine a face everywhere, even if human can see just a set number of lines and dots, and, of course, when he sees a real human skull, brain immediately tries to understand what kind of face had this person. It is because the human skull with large eye sockets, larger than the eyes, and it can’t be confused with anything else, and many people see it as something attractive, in spite of matter, that the skull - first of all, a sign of demise. The skull is much more attractive than other bones of the human skeleton, and can attract just as disgust.
One look at the skull, and we'll see how death looks at us from those big empty crevices. Not surprisingly, the skull is known throughout the world as a symbol of death. In many cultures, it is a remembrance of our mortality, and in the Latin proverb "Memento Mori" – remember of death.
In the piece "Hamlet", written by famous William Shakespeare, skull is used to make a great effect. When Hamlet finds the skull of Yorick, a former jester of king, in the cemetery, in the first scene of Act 5, he talks immediately to the skull, talking about the imminence of death and decay. The skull is used as a symbol of mortality and death, which is always present in the play. After all, nobody can be saved from death, and actually monarchs will eventually be eaten by worms.
In Christian art and culture, the skull is a symbol of perpetuity, penance and human conceit and, consequently, a remembrance that we shouldn’t lose the right path. It emerges in medieval spiritual pictures, such as the skull of Adam, located at the foot of the rood, symbolizing redemption. Ancient symbol - a skull with a snake crawls out of its orbit, meant learning and immortality. Snake in the skull also could mean that "knowledge conquers death." Skull found in many of the great masterpieces of the Renaissance, and it is present in most portraits of Saints, Cardinals, Popes and royals, as a remembrance of the importance of a virtuous life.
Historically, the skull was a usual depiction of triumph over the enemy, and a warning to people, defeated in battle. The winner can collect a pile of skulls as a clear testimony of victory and grim remembrance of the vanquished their losses. The skull is also sometimes worn as a trophy, and winners even drank from it, as from a cup. Centuries ago in London they stick heads of traitors at the peak, inserted into the gate, and they remained to rot - serving a terrible warning to all who passed by. The skull was a sign of division "Tottenkopf", part of the SS during World War II, but the bikers are doing such a tattoo on his arm to cheat a death. In New Guinea, the skulls were placed at the entrances to the house physicians, as a remembrance that death is always present in our lives. Of ancient Pompeii extant skull used as a level, a favorite tool carpenter. This symbolized that Death is the great equalizer.
The skull can also be a prognostication. In folk tales there are a lot of scenes in which the hero's death or sad events is preceded by a skull. In Mexico, you can see the grinning skull, decorated with feathers and wearing hats - common art elements in Mexico. On the Day of the Dead, you may even be eating skulls made ??of sugar and chocolate. But skulls on tombstones are not as in great request as in the Victorian era. Death brings revenue to carvers and bricklayers, and skull, in various combinations - with criss-crosses, roses and wings, was not only a remembrance of mortality, but also symbolized the flight of the soul, resurrection and perpetuity.
In Buddhism and Hinduism, the skull is frequently used in religious craft. In the Buddhism Lord of the Dead, Yama, has five skulls round his head, indicating that overcoming anger, greed, pride, envy and ignorance. Kali, the Hindu goddess of death, has a collar made of skulls.
Nowadays, the symbol of skull is as pop as ever. In the films, games, books, comic strips and of course, tattoos, skull continues to embody different images, depending on the creative imagination of the artist. Some of the skull tattoos are made with a bit of humor, some - creepy and horrifying, but always, as it were, behind the scenes, there is death.
Be inspired by our truly amazing images of tattoos with skulls in our gallery of tattoos with skulls.