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Tattoo designs - D >> Dolphin

Dolphin tattoo designsDolphin Tattoo Meanings - The popularity of the dolphin tattoo design can most definitely be traced back to a long standing empathy and understanding between our two species. Humans and dolphins have co-existed for thousands of years, and the more we continue to learn about these creatures, the more we come to believe that the dolphin carries a divine spark that separates them from other animals. Early man was fascinated by the obvious intelligence of dolphins and their ability to herd schools of fish to make it easier to prey upon them.

In Sumeria, dolphins were connected to Ea-Oannes, the deity of the sea, and sometimes with the goddess Isis in Egypt. The Celts associated the dolphin with the healing power of water, and the image of people riding dolphins is seen on some Celtic artifacts. Some Australian Aboriginal tribes claim to be direct descendants of dolphins, who are sometimes regarded as guardian spirits.

Dolphin picture

Dolphin tattoo designsTo the ancient Greeks and Romans, dolphins were revered among sailors as symbols of divine protection and guidance, aided no doubt by the dolphin's habit of surfing the bow wave of ships at sea. It was thought that dolphins would assist lost sailors back to their home ports and rescue sailors that fell overboard and take them back to shore. In Greece, killing a dolphin was comparable to killing a human and was a crime punishable by death. For dolphins were seen to be messengers for the Gods, and were closely associated with Poseidon's daughters, the Nereids, the goddess of love Aphrodite, the heroine Galatea and the music-loving sun god, Apollo. It was said that the constellation Delphinus, the dolphin, was put in the sky by Poseidon in gratitude to the dolphins for finding his bride Amphitrite.

Dolphins jumping out of the water

In addition to inhabiting the sea, a number of species of dolphin make their homes in large fresh water rivers all over the world. In the rainforests of the Amazon Basin, the native Indians tell stories about the the Amazon river dolphin, also called the Boto. Stories abound of the river dolphins taking human form and wooing young girls. They are often as regarded as unlucky, as they may tempt unknowing men and women into the water, where they are taken to Encante, the underwater world of no return. Similar tales of shape shifting are told of the elusive Baiji, or Yangtze river dolphin.

rare endangered river dolphins

The dolphin is also an important symbol in European heraldry, and is often featured on Heraldic coats-of-arms, and represents diligence, salvation, charity and love.

dolphins underwater

It has long been believed that dolphins serve as our connection between the world of men, and the underwater world of the sea. This interconnectedness between the dolphin and humanity has led to great understandings and innovations, like dolphin interaction and therapy. Swimming with dolphins has helped children to cope with handicaps, overcome learning challenges and soothed the suffering of individuals with severe depression or mental anguish. It is a sought after experience for people with various problems and from different walks of life.

Amazon pink river dolphin pictures

Dolphin Inspiration Gallery - Click here to get inspired!Our affinity with this amazing creature has spawned the tribute of dolphin tattoo designs, living breathing art that testifies to the character, traits and symbolism of the dolphin, and in some way attempts to absorb this creature's qualities into our own bodies.

Get inspired by some great images and photos in our Dolphin Inspiration Gallery

See also: Marine Life Tattoo Index, Nautical Tattoos, Killer Whales, Whale Tattoos

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Tattoo designs - D >> Dolphin

Tattoo Symbol Index - A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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