If you could go back in time somewhere around the 10th century, you could have the unpleasant experience of running into a Scandinavian Viking on the European or North Atlantic shores. Fortunately for you're valuables, you will have to settle for a modern day Viking tattoo instead.
Vikings were warriors with swords traveling by ship with the goal of raiding and thieving their way to survival. Most of the evidence of their culture comes from archeological finds, since the concept of writing on paper was not invented in their time.
Some later writings have surfaced, but the more reliable sources of information come from longships and runes left behind from ages ago.
All things change through time, and the perception of the Vikings has definitely benefited from this. Though they were likely vicious, ruthless raiders who left death and disruption in their wake, many now see them as heroic.
Viking tattoos are often used to portray manly strength, courage, and victory. They are sometimes shown standing at the tip of a ship at sea with large swords held up in the air. This is the ultimate sign of victory; of champions.
Viking Tattoo Pictures:
A Viking tattoo can also represent the darker side of the culture. Some present close-up facial portraits of men with the characteristic long, shaggy beard. Others trade the beard for patches of animalistic fur across the face and shoulders. These portraits typically feature piercing eyes portrayed with dark black and white shading.
The concept of the Viking is similar to that of the pirate, but the symbols used in each tattoo are quite different. They symbols that many Viking tattoos have in common include the sword, ship, and beard. Most are also displayed with muscular, strong bodies.
Some may be represented on horses and may have elaborate headgear. For the most part, these are strong tattoos designed to deliver a perception of courage, danger, or fear.
Picture of a superbly drawn viking back piece featuring a pair of warriors armed for battle. Donning long beards and fierce expressions.
Picture of a color-rich viking tattoo featuring a blonde headed man with braided hair and piercing eyes. Design is located on the shoulder and upper arm.
Here we see some traditional viking artwork featuring a scowling male with horned headgear and long facial hair.
Picture of a viking warrior armed with a sword and posed in a striking fashion. Once again we see the classic horned helmet upon his head.