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Tattoo designs - S >> Strawberry

Strawberry tattoos and designsStrawberry Tattoos - The strawberry, besides being as red as a rose, is actually a member of the rose family. Wild strawberries, small, brightly coloured and with their intense flavor and smell, were clearly sought after by early hunter-gatherers in Europe and the Americas. Strawberry seeds have been found in Mesolithic sites in Denmark, Neolithic sites in Switzerland, and Iron Age sites in England. In addition to the fruit, the strawberry plant, its leaves in particular, has long been used in folk medicine.

Roman writer, Pliny and the Roman poet, Ovid both mention strawberries, but nothing is said of their cultivation. The Romans had a number of medicinal uses for the strawberry. Because of their bright red colors and heart shapes, strawberries were the symbol for Venus, the Goddess of Love. Many early stories mention strawberries and love, one being that you should be careful with whom you share a double strawberry. It is said that two people who share a double strawberry are destined to fall in love. Other stories assert that any shared strawberry will do!

Strawberry images

Strawberry tattoos and designsDuring the 1400's the monks of Western Europe began featuring the wild strawberry in their illuminated manuscripts and miniatures. The Monasteries of the time were the cultural and social centers of Europe, and when the Monks illustrated the manuscripts with depictions of the Madonna and Child, or the Virgin Mary, wild strawberries were often included in the margins or in the illustration itself. For not only is the strawberry delicate and bright, and a worthy offering to Mary, but the leaves of the strawberry are triumvirate, and the three partitioned leaf was a reminder of the Holy Trinity. The strawberry came to symbolize perfection of spirit, peace and the feminine ideal.

This was also a period where there was wide-spread construction of churches and cathedrals all over Europe, and medieval stonemasons carved strawberry designs around pillars to symbolize perfection and righteousness. To this day, in modern cemeteries, you can see this influence on tombstones.

Originally strawberries were called strewberries, a name descriptive of how they grew, strewn among the leaves of the forest flour. Until 1538, the Anglo Saxon spelling streoberie was used. The strawberry's name went through many evolutions including streowberige, straberry, streberie, straibery, and straubery and others. During Medieval Europe, strawberries began to be cultivated by being planted in ground that had been overlain with thick mats of straw. The name strawberry probably refers to the straw used to mulch the plants during the winter, a practice that discouraged weeds and lifts the berries up off the earth.

At one time, the French considered the strawberry to be an aphrodisiac and served strawberries to newlyweds.

American Indians were already cultivating and eating strawberries when the colonists arrived. The crushed berries were mixed with cornmeal and made into bread. The colonists developed their own version, which we know today as strawberry shortcake.

In Bavaria, an annual spring ritual celebrates the importance of strawberries. The farmers make an offering to the elves that they hope will help their cows produce healthy calves and a good supply of milk. The farmers make offerings to the elves in the form of little baskets of wild strawberries which are tied to the horns of their cattle. The elves are expected to help themselves to the berries and offer their blessings to the generous cows!

Strawberry Inspiration Gallery - Click here to get inspired!Today, strawberries, like cherries, are a tattoo design primarily favored by women. A luscious, ripe, bright red strawberry is a symbol of fertility, the feminine ideal, temptation and passion. Pick me, I'm yours!

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

See also: Flower & Plant Tattoo Index

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Tattoo designs - S >> Strawberry

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