Dove Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Dove Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Doves are animals of special significance when it comes to the study of cultures. Interestingly, almost every culture in the world has some sort of interpretation of this bird. This beautiful bird is mostly associated with God’s will, peace, love, and knowledge. Dove tattoos and their meanings are usually distinct and are usually differentiated by the manner in which the bird is drawn.

For the rest of this article, we will talk about the various meanings of the dove tattoo, the historical significance of the bird, and then finally we can get to the fun part of design ideas and the usual places where people get it.

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What is the history of the dove tattoo?

For Native Americans, doves were considered to be the remnants of the spirits of people who had passed away. In Aztec culture, the bird was a symbol of love and the mother of all humanity. The dove is also associated with many entities in Greek mythology; the more prominent of these characters include Aphrodite.

In Christianity, the dove is known as a symbol of wisdom, life, and purity. Similarly, the Muslim community believes that a black dove shared knowledge with the Prophet.

The dove is also associated with Noah and his Ark as a symbol of redemption and new life.

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What do dove tattoos symbolize?

If there is one universal concept symbolized by the dove, it’s peace. The white one specifically is associated with living in harmony. It symbolizes coming to conclusions that are beneficial for all those involved.

The second thing that doves have been used to symbolize is the delivery of messages. It doesn’t always have to be between God and his Prophet; it can also be between two loved ones who have lost each other. The Dove may be seen as a symbol of their friendship and faith in their bond.

Doves are known to take incredible care of their offspring. This means that they also symbolize all the good qualities of parenthood. The doves give eternal love, and lots of care, and will always find a way to return to its home.

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What do dove tattoos mean?

The tattoo can be used as a way to pay homage to any of the entities that the dove is associated with. Having a dove tattoo can represent your love for a family member and honor your lasting bond with them.

Other people may think of the dove as a sign of knowledge. The meaning can vary quite a bit depending on the beliefs of each person. But this tattoo can help you reflect your search for wisdom.

Common meanings of this tattoo are:

  1. Love
  2. Harmony
  3. Family
  4. Partnership
  5. Knowledge
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Characteristics of dove tattoos and design

Because of the wide variety of meanings that are associated with the dove, it’s hard to confine this tattoo in one box. The dove can be made using a single white ink to more detailed Celtic and tribal designs.

You can experiment with the designs depending on how you wish to interpret your tattoo. Some popular art types include:

Pairs of doves are especially popular and are used to express partnership.

Couples often decide to go for identical tattoos with the same doves as a way to symbolize their love for one another. Family members can also choose to go with this approach. The doves may have ribbons running around in order to show the connection that the family has between members.

Some people may also have various versions of the dove coupled with the Christian Cross to express their deep connection to its religious associations.

It is not uncommon for people to want to go for a dove on an olive branch, which is associated with Noah’s Ark and can be understood through the lens of redemption and second chances.

Many American Indians believed that doves are actually pure spirits of the ones who had passed away. Many of their descendants have such tattoos in order to pay homage to the ones who lived before them and it is considered to be a continued tradition that has spanned generations.

Dove tattoos among men

Even though the dove tattoo is usually seen as a message for peace and harmony and many men choose to embrace this idea, there are some men who go for radically different tattoos. Doves and grenades are now commonly seen among men in some areas of the United States.

When asked about it, the men believe that the tattoo is a sort of Yin and Yang; two sides of the same coin. Two opposites, with the dove standing for peace while the grenade stands for war. Their point is that one cannot exist without the other.

I’m sure it has become especially clear to you over the course of this article that there are many types of dove tattoos and you’ll probably find more examples if you keep looking. The main thing lies in realizing how the bird resonates with you and then deciding on your ultimate design.

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Where do dove tattoos usually go?

Dove birds are easily recognizable to most people. This means that you can get the tattoo in smaller sizes as well. Behind the ear or on one of your fingers could be good places to get it done. Larger representations of the bird would have to be done on either the legs or the arms.

The blend of the dove with other ideas such as the grenade would require a much bigger tattoo to properly represent the idea. This is why tattoos of such kinds are generally better on the chest or the upper back. When it comes to women, dove tattoos on the lower back are especially popular in many cultures.

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If you’re someone who values friendship, bonds, and especially family, doves can be the perfect way to show love and companionship to those around you. It goes a long way in letting them know that they are important to you.

There are numerous other ways that the bird may resonate with you. If you feel impacted by any of the qualities that we have mentioned above, it might be time to consider that one. You can even try to combine individual concepts in your brain and come up with something completely new. The dove with the grenade is one such example.

Considering the fact that the same bird can put across so many messages depending on the slightest change in tone, it would be best to find someone especially competent in order to really get the version you want.

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