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Tattoo designs - I >> Irish

Flag of IrelandIrish Tattoos - The ancient peoples of the British Isles tended to have great mobility, particularly in the north were trade and commerce and no small amount of competition for lands and power meant there was frequent traffic between what is now Ireland and Scotland. Both Ireland and Scotland bore the brunt of numerous outside invasions, and the indigenous peoples absorbed or were pushed aside by succeeding waves of Celts, Gauls, Romans, Vikings from both Norway and Denmark, Saxons and Normans, who for all intents and purposes were French Vikings.

The Celts and later the Vikings, all were known to tattoo themselves. In fact, Celtic and Scandinavian art show many similarities and trade between the cultures would have had an influence on the carving and artwork for which both cultures are renowned. Both Celtic and Viking art features elaborate and intricate knotwork, spirals and zoomorphic animals whose intertwined limbs are often difficult to distinguish from one another. Celtic art has spawned an entire genre of tattooing and some tattoo artists specialize in the form.

Coat of Arms of IrelandIn between invasions, the Irish people were also converted from a Shamanistic belief system of animism, where animals, plants, trees and even specific places were thought to have spirits and the Earth itself was a divine being, by traveling monks to Christianity and Catholicism. Despite the conversion, there has long been a magical tradition in Irish culture, a belief in 'the little people', sprites and leprechauns.

Other symbols of Ireland are St. Patrick, leprechauns, the harp, the shamrock and the four-leaf clover. See also: Celtic Tattoos

Both the Irish and the Scots are fond of the Claddagh.

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Tattoo designs - I >> Irish

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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