Tattoo Designs & Symbols

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Tattoo designs - M >> Monkey

Monkey Tattoo design ideasMonkey Tattoo Designs - Witty, intelligent, loyal and playful, that's the monkey character.

Averse to change but adapting well over time, the mischievous monkey has found its way into religion, folklore, myth and astrology. As a tattoo motif you'll see it leaping over various parts of the anatomy, sometimes as a Chinese kanji. In the Chinese zodiac, the Monkey is super-quick and multi-talented, but has a tendency to be an opportunist. The over confident monkey could end up losing face.

Monkey legends tell of its rise to godly status, and of its misadventures down on earth. From his position of power, monkey often wreaks havoc, which calls down the wrath of the gods. Once put in his place, though, the monkey learns from his mistakes, resulting in his wisdom.

Hanuman is the Hindu monkey god, believed by some to be the reincarnation of Shiva, the Hindu God. In this aspect he is heroic and dedicated to justice. Thunder, wind and the Sun are associated with Hanuman.

Monkey Tattoo design ideas

In ancient Japan the monkey was the messenger of the gods. Monkey was the symbol of a harmonious marriage, fertility and safe childbirth, as well as protector against disease and demons. It was believed to be the Japanese monkey who made famous: 'Speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil.'

A famous legend tells of the monkey who accompanied a monk on his historic journey from India to China carrying the holy Buddhist teachings. Buddha chose the monkey as the best companion a monk could have -- being smart and courageous and able to protect the monk from demons and evil spirits long the way.

Mayans in Mexico and Guatemala glorified the monkey as a patron of the arts, and took him as a symbol of knowledge and prophecy. The ancient Aztecs associated monkey with the sun.

Monkey Inspiration Gallery - Click here to get inspired!In East Africa, Swahili folklore tells of the wild animals pitted against each other in a struggle for survival. In these myths, the skills and abilities of the clever monkey are demonstrated as morals and lessons for humans. When monkey met the shark at the edge of the ocean, the shifty shark asked monkey for its heart, so that the King of sharks might be cured of a fatal sickness. Says monkey, 'I left it hanging in a tree,' and off he went to fetch it. Needless to say, monkey scampered away breathing a huge sigh of relief, and thanking the gods for his intelligence, quick thinking, speed and agility.

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

See also: Animal Tattoo Index

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Tattoo designs - M >> Monkey

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