Illustrator Reveals Why Sailors Have A Lot Of The Same Tattoos

Posted on Illustration 31

Before tattoos of swallows and anchors started appearing on the skin of the trendy youth, they were all known as specific symbols that belonged and told the stories solely of sailors.

The artist Lucy Bellwood analysed the typical sailor tattoos and drew up a map to guide us through the meanings of each one. Apparently, the popular swallows marked the sailors with a strong wanderlust as each one signifies every 5000 nautical miles one has sailed. The anchor was a symbol that told everyone that a sailor has crossed the Atlantic Ocean or was a merchant mariner.

This drawing that first appeared in Vancouver Maritime Museum’s traveling exhibit “Tattoos and Scrimshaw: the Art of the Sailor” shows that the more a sailor traveled, the more impressive his body art got.

To find out the meanings behind the most popular sailor tattoos check out the picture below.

More info: official page | demilked (h/t my modern met)