Among all the bird tattoos that we see in the industry, eagle tattoo designs may be the most popular. And why not? It is a symbol that’s rich in history and meaning. It’s been around for a long time, especially among the Native Americans. Until now, it’s a great symbol in the United States. Plus, it can create various cool, eye-catching, and bad-ass designs.
For as long as ancient civilizations ruled, eagles were long deemed as symbols of masculinity and strength. While each culture looks at these creatures a little differently, they remain as representations of something noble.
Since tattoos were introduced to the world by these civilizations, eagle tattoo designs were already in existence. Today, many tattoo enthusiasts still get theirs in various designs and styles.
History of Eagle Tattoos
- 1 History of Eagle Tattoos
- 2 Half Chest Eagle Tattoos
- 3 Meaning of Eagle Tattoo Designs
- 4 Popular Eagle Tattoo Designs
- 5 Tattooing Styles
As said, eagle tattoos have been a part of human and tattoo history.
That may be because various ancient civilizations such as Ancient Greeks and Native Americans see eagles as more than a symbol of masculinity and virility – they were also associated with divine beings.
In Ancient Greece, Zeus or the King of the Olympians was often associated with the eagle. It was one of his favored animals and one of his symbols. Since then, the culture has spread throughout the world and eagles were always seen as a symbol of a higher power and nobility.
For Native Americans, some of their gods and spirits take form as eagles. Some tribes also have legends regarding eagles acting as guides, guardians and leaders. In other legends, these creatures were known as the messenger between Gods and human. They also believe that the Eagle is the earthly reincarnation of the mythical Thunderbird.
However, eagles became a much bigger thing when the bald eagle was chosen as US’ national symbol. It was chosen on June 20, 1782, because of its long life, great strength, and its majestic look.
Nowadays, people choose to get eagle tattoos because of its meaning and its versatility.
Half Chest Eagle Tattoos
Meaning of Eagle Tattoo Designs
Many people associate eagle tattoos with patriotism, given that it is the national bird of United States of America. It even seen in the country’s coat of arms.
However, eagle tattoo designs are more than that. Even tattoo enthusiasts who are not from US or never been to the country could get it and represent them. We’ve mentioned above that it’s commonly seen as a symbol of masculinity, strength, and virility. But here are more meanings that can be associated with the design:
- Power and dominance
- Spirituality and being a messenger of the gods
- Vision and focus
Then again, a tattoo’s meaning could also depend on the wearer. A single imagery could have an entire narrative.
But tattoos can also be purely for aesthetics only. You can get a tattoo of any design you want, purely because you like how its look. At the end of the day, it is your body and you get to decide what to do with it.
Popular Eagle Tattoo Designs
With the variety of meanings and a rich history, eagle tattoo designs are limitless. Some are more masculine, others a little more casual. There are also designs that look more modern and abstract. This depends on the wearer’s choice and how they want the tattoo to look like.
However, here are the most common and popular eagle tattoos plus what they mean:
Perched Eagle Tattoo
The perched eagle on a branch tattoo is rather popular. Most of the time, it shows the bird on one side of the branch in its full form. This kind of tattoo is a symbol of health, provision, and energy.
While the design can be done in black and gray ink, a lot of tattoo enthusiasts these days choose to have them in full color. Other elements can be added to the design but the eagle is the main attraction.
Fighting Eagle Tattoo
This design often shows the eagle in the air with its wings wide and talons at the ready – seemingly ready to strike on a prey or an opponent. Its beak is also partially open, as if screeching. The design is a perfect symbol of courage, determination, and power.
It can also be a way of a warning for those who see it. The wearer could have it as a way to tell other people that they shouldn’t be messed with as they fight back, especially when they know they are right.
Tribal Eagle Tattoo
Tribal eagle tattoos are deeply rooted in the culture of Native Americans. Designs mostly look like the art you’ll see on Native American museums and on their pyramids, caves, and totems. It shows the eagle with its wings widely spread; a symbol of authority and supremacy.
Apart from that, tribal eagle designs have a huge spiritual significance. These designs often have an air of power and thus, became a symbol of power and strength as well.
Haida Eagle Tattoo
Haida eagle tattoos are a special type of tribal eagle tattoo designs. These are commonly in red and black and originated from the oldest Native American tribe in America – the Haida. They live in British Columbia, Alaska, and Canada.
The Eagle in their culture represents the Great Spirit and embodies power, strength, wisdom, and spirituality. This is perfect for members of the Haida tribe to showcase their culture.
American Eagle Tattoo
The American eagle tattoo is a great design for those who love the US. The design varies but the main features include the eagle and the American flag. It could either be on the background, around the eagle, or below or above it. Patriotism is obviously shown in this kind of tattoo design.
Eagle Head Tattoo
A lot of the eagle tattoo designs you’ll see depicts the whole body of the eagle, with maybe a few elements added. However, gaining popularity these days are eagle head tattoos. They can show just the eyes of the eagles – showcasing full focus, attention, and wisdom; or you can display the full head of an eagle. You can choose which type of eagle you want to depict but common choice is the bald eagle.
Double-headed Eagle Tattoo
The double-headed eagle tattoo originated from Sumeria or what is now known as Iraq. The symbol eventually spread to Europe and Russia by Turkish pilgrims and traders during the Crusade. The Orthodox Church soon adopted it. Today, many European countries incorporate it on their flags.
As the name suggests, it depicts a golden eagle with two heads – one looking to the left and the other to the right. Since it spread like wildfire, it is known to represent strength, power, dominance and honor.
This would be an amazing design for those who live in Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, and Armenia. These are the countries that used the symbol as part of their seals and flags.
Eagle and Quotes Tattoo
Quotes are pretty much the mainstream tattoo designs. These can go well with almost any design and any element. If you want a quote about strength and power, you can add that with your eagle tattoo design. You can add the quote under your eagle tattoo, or above it.
Of course, the meaning of this tattoo will depend on what you have written there. But it’s always great if you can match the elements with the quote.
Eagle Feather Tattoo
There are various types of eagles so their feathers may look different. However, a common type that’s usually used on tattoos is the feather that’s white on the bottom and black at the tip. It’s far easier to say that it comes from the mighty eagle.
Generally, feathers are known to be symbols of freedom. However, that could change depending on what type of bird it came from. As this one came from the eagle, it can mean the same as what an eagle represents.
However, an eagle’s feather also represents healing and medicine in Native American culture. In fact, many tribal rituals make use of those. That being said, an eagle’s feather tattoo could also denote a closeness to nature. spiritual elements, and Native American culture.
Eagle and Snake Tattoo
Another popular eagle tattoo design includes a snake. It can be under the eagle, looking like it’s fighting with it; or it can be wrapped around the eagle with the eagle’s talons on it.
The snake is known as a representation of sexual passion, vindictiveness, sexual passion, and vengefulness. But these creatures are also the universal symbol of medicine. Combined with the eagle, this design could indicate conflict. It could be the conflict between wisdom and passion, or morality and vengeance. Suffice to say, it’s the conflict of your two sides as a person.
Eagle Wings Tattoo
The eagle can also become a great symbol of freedom and protection. They can soar through mountains and valleys without any restriction. They are also strong fliers so even a little bit of wind won’t make them back down.
Eagle wings have become a famous tattoo designs for many tattoo enthusiasts. It has become a way for them to say that they can’t be restricted.
There are different tattooing styles that you can try in order to make your tattoo designs more eye-catching and unique. While the classic tattoo style is still in, a few other choices will make you want to say yes to a new ink. Here are the styles you can try out:
American traditional style
Think about those ship tattoos, pin-up girl tattoos, and those Ed Hardy designs. Those are great examples of the American traditional tattoos. They have been in existence several decades now and are still pretty popular to these days.
If you want a bold and vibrant looking tattoo, this is the definitely the style you should go for. The designs are usually simpler but they have this incredible vibe to them.
Japanese tattoo styles
Japanese tattoos have their own distinct style – almost like the Japanese paintings you see, except they are done on your skin. These often have bold outlines or vibrant colors. Usually, there is no space left except the surrounding area of the tattoo. This is also an amazing style and even better if you can get it in the Japanese traditional way of getting a tattoo – by hand!
Modern style tattoos
Modern style tattoos have an air of minimalism and somehow like those pop art you see at museums. They can be slightly abstract – you see the elements but looking at the design as a whole, you’ll never guess what it actually means.
These are the kinds of tattoos that also include geometric patterns and shapes most of the time. If you want this kind of tattoo, you’ll have to work with a great artist who understands you.
Imagine a 3D eagle tattoo. Now wouldn’t that be totally amazing?
3D tattoos are getting really popular these days but not every tattoo artist can make it work. They have to be masters in tattooing as they need to be skilled in various techniques. As a whole, they need to be extraordinary artists so you will be satisfied with the end result.
Most 3D tattoos look hyper realistic; as if these were photos and not tattoos. But with the grueling process comes the grueling experience. It will probably take more than just one session to make your tattoo. So, you’ll want to prepare yourself mentally and physically.
And oh, you’ll want to prepare your wallet, too.
Minimalist style tattoos
Minimalist style tattoos are the best choices for women. These tattoos often look dainty and feminine. Although it’s a little ironic to create a symbol of power and strength with soft strokes, it can actually work. All you need is to find a tattoo artist that is good at minimalist tattoos. Talk to them and try to create a design where you can incorporate the irony.
Most minimalist tattoos have sparse color palettes, small, and have a lot of negative space. Still, these are breathtaking and stunning.