Arrow Tattoo Meaning

By on November 30, 2016






Primarily a tattoo used in Native American renditions, the arrow has an important place in nearly every culture throughout history. Throughout the various Native American cultures, the arrow could have been used as a sign for dreams, visions, history, hunting, warfare and various other personal symbols. Ancient, recent and modern cultures all use the arrow as a sign. Native American cultures by no means have a monopoly on the arrow, as the arrow is notable for numerous cultures including the Mongols, the Welsh and the Persians.

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The Arrow Tattoo Meaning

1. Multiple Arrows

A bundle of arrows has historical roots that symbolize strength, unity, plenty and preparedness. For Native American tribes, a bundle of arrows could be viewed as a coalition of tribes during times of warfare or of families during a great hunt. For Mongol culture, the bundle of arrows is representative of the Khan’s teachings to his sons about unity and family. An ancient Chinese battle was decided based upon a capture of enemy arrows with boats made of straw during a foggy night.

A pair of arrows were often symbolic of trust and friendship, or war and strife. Two matching arrows could mean close friends in Native American culture. Crossed arrows often were symbols of alliances or friendships. On the other hand, arrows which pointed away from each other were a symbol of war.

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2. Single Arrow

The single arrow had many meanings as well. Signifying a known or unknown path, the arrow could point to an object or direction, or its goal could remain unseen. A single arrow may also represent protection from harm. Depending on the adornments of the arrow, it could have a variety or meanings. The Boy Scouts even use the arrow as a symbol for one of their most esteemed brotherhoods. One of the most important symbols of the arrow is of the broken arrow, which symbolizes peace and an end to conflict.

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3. Other Influences

Cupid’s arrow is a sure sign of love and infatuation. The Zodiac gives the arrow a special place as the tool of Sagittarius. The arrow may also be seen as a sign of masculinity and war. The arrowhead is often a sign of Native American cultures though it also may symbolize archaeology and history. A straight arrow may mean honesty, while an arrow with colorful feathers may mean pride.

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Arrow Tattoo Meaning Variations

1. Cultural Representations

Whatever cultural artistic renditions are chosen for your feather tattoo will symbolize the connection of various cultures and worldviews that you have chosen. You may find that a bow of a specific kind will also add character and deeper meaning. Associated symbols such as a horse, longbow, dream catcher, chariot, heart or anything that you apply meaning to will bring out additional insights and symbolism.

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2. Materials

Arrows throughout history and up to modern times have been made of various materials for countless reasons. Determining the type of arrowhead may change the meaning of your tattoo. Whether it is made of mundane things like stone or metal, or fantastical arrowheads conceived as diamonds or light, your arrowhead will give it a dash of your own personal flair. The shaft and plumage will help bring out your thoughts as well. Peacock feathers can denote pride, while plastic wings give it a modern touch.

There is no limit to what you can do with your arrow tattoo. Create a worldly tattoo full of historical or culture meanings, or manifest a fantastical tattoo that exists only in your mind and on your skin. Add adornments to give it your own special touch as well. Be sure to use the experience and insight of your tattoo artist as you would be remiss to waste such a valuable resource.

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