Have you considered an elephant tattoo for your personal animal totem?
Elephant designs are not too common, but have deep symbolic associations.
Being the largest land animal, elephants have a special place in the animal kingdom. Sadly, they were almost hunted to extinction for the ivory in their tusks, and now only two species - the Asian and the African elephant - remain.
Though mentioned in Greek, Roman, Hmong, and African lore, the Hindu story of the god Ganesha is the richest of the elephant tales. The god Ganesha has the head of an elephant and is often depicted with one tusk, a pot belly, and four arms. Some legends say that he impregnated the virgin goddess Maya, who then gave birth to Buddha.
Even though the image is whimsical and colorful, do not get a Ganesha-inspired tattoo without thinking it through. He still remains a powerful religious symbol to many Hindus today, and one should be careful not to offend.
Just a regular elephant tattoo still has deep meaning. In India, the elephant is a symbol of power, patience, wisdom, success, prosperity, and benevolence. Ironically, elephants are also a symbol of both chastity and great sexual energy. And, though elephants appear heavy and clumsy, their image is also symbolic of both clouds and gracefulness. The Hmong have similar interpretations, and admonish people not to insult elephants; to do so could lead to destruction of property.
Many of these fascinating interpretations of elephant symbolism comes from the fact that elephants are fascinating creatures. They have a unique social structure in which group of females, as many as 400, band together to raise the offspring - while the males roam alone. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about elephants are their death rituals. Elephants often bury their dead with branches and dirt and, when coming upon the skeletal remains of a deceased elephant, they will pass the bones around from mouth to mouth, then return them just as they found them. No wonder Hmong legends also assume elephants lead spirits of the dead to the underworld.
Contemporary elephant symbolism includes Disney's flying Dumbo, the pink elephants we allegedly see during detox, the white elephant knick-knacks in our homes we can't get rid of, the myth of the enormous elephant being scared by a little mouse.
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Dali Elephant Tattoo
I got this after I got clean from a 3 year addiction. To represent that no matter how weak you may feel, or look to somebody, that you are always strong …
Simple Elephant Tattoo
Elephants are my favorite animal, and everything they represent describes me or my life.
Jaclyn Elephant Tattoo
Got this last week. It's getting color added to it once it heals, so I'll post more pics then :)
Graffic Elephant Tattoo Not rated yet
The elephant has always been my favorite animal, and all the symbols are just amazing - and then its great artwork!
An elephant never forgets! Not rated yet
My great-grandmother has always been a large part of my life, so when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's it hit me pretty hard. Since she has always been …
Katie Elephant Tattoo Not rated yet
My elephants represent my family, my love, and those who have always stood by me. Elephants are never alone in the sense of family. they are strong, …
Elephant Love Tattoo Not rated yet
"Elephant Love" Tattoo - a friend of mines tattoo!
Soft Toy Elephant Tattoo Not rated yet
My best friend and I have always been made fun of for being the "elephants" in our families... Always eating and striving to get big while we stay …
ADITHYA Elephant Tattoo Not rated yet
I'm 15 and have been bugging my mom for a tattoo since i was 11 ... I'm a Indian...a kerelite to be specific and we have a lot of respect and importance …
Elephant Tattoo Template Not rated yet
I have just always love elephants!
Elephant Tattoo with Fire Not rated yet
Got it from Tattoo'er Julian Zeff at Unbreakable Tattoo in Los Angeles. This is stage 2/3 - all the detail and some of the color is still missing. …
Royal Indian Elephant Tattoo Not rated yet
I have always loved elephants, and I knew after reading about the symbolism of elephants in different cultures that it was the perfect tattoo to get to …
Baby Elephant Tattoo Not rated yet
I got my adorable Baby Elephant Tattoo because my sister is in love with elephants and I have many tattoos that represent my love for my family. I …
Two ElephantsTattoo Not rated yet
I got this Elephant Tattoo in memory of my mother, who loved elephants and also loved tattoos.
Elephant Tattoo On Elbow Not rated yet
This was my first tattoo always have just loved elephants dont kno wat made me pic my elbow but i think it came out sick!
Elephant god tattoo Not rated yet
This is the most important god of Hindus.