85+ Rough Bear Tattoo Designs & Meanings – Feel The Wild Nature (2017)
Bear tattoos are nothing new, in fact, bears have long fascinated people all over the world and for a very long time.
To be able to really understand the meaning of these tattoos, we should look at the meaning it offers to various societies and communities that have used it.
The bear is a widely revered creature, and has been so for millennia and across multiple cultures. The most profound mention of the bear is found in the Bible’s Old Testament, representing the King of Persia.
However, the bear has always been mentioned in other cultures.
Ever since ancient Greece and Egypt, the people believed that the Great She-Bear could be found in the Ursa Major constellation, commonly called the Big Dipper. The Greeks believed the symbol was the incarnation of the Goddess Artemis while the Romans the Goddess Diana, the goddess of the hunt and wild animals.
In Russia, the brown bear is widely considered a symbol for the country, and has been used ever since the 16th century in various art forms. The Celts used it as a symbol of warfare, and they called it ‘the grandfather’ because they believed it was an ancestor to the Lapps.
The Native Americans, too, revered the bear, believing it was a supernatural being and sometimes even a god.
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Because the bear is found in many cultures, the meaning it stands for tends to vary with the culture. Native American tribes such as the Sioux and Pueblo Indians, for example, has different interpretations.
The latter believed the bear represented hunting, healing and battle while the former believed it possessed wind powers, confusing your enemies and the ability to find things.
There have been so many interpretations of the bear because it really is a fascinating creature. Plus, the varying interpretations have been caused by the fact that there are various species of the bear. The black bear is not as aggressive as its cousins, it would rather hide from danger than confront it.
However, it is associated with cunning and mental acuity. The grizzly bear is very aggressive and is thus associated with danger and strength. So you should choose the one that symbolizes your character.
Whatever your interpretation, there are some common meanings to any tattoo: strength, protection, motherhood, power, confidence, spirituality and resurrection. This resurrection is an appreciation of the emergence of the bear after hibernation.
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- Teddy bear
Teddy bears are adorable, and no matter the age you are, they represent love, affection and innocence. These types of tattoos are more feminine than masculine after the fact, and are thus more commonly worn by women.
Still, some men get these tattoos to represent their more nurturing, caring and gentle side. Another design that can be used in the same way is the koala tattoo.
- Koala bear
The Koala bear is also a very gentle species of the bear. It is very gentle and cuddly, sleeping for more than 20 hours a day and rarely engaging in any conflict with other animals. The koala nurtures its young in its pouch, much like a kangaroo, for months before the joey matures.
For this reason, the koala is used as a symbol of nurturing.
In ancient Aboriginal folklore, they believed koalas crawled out of the earth to bring wisdom to the humans. These tattoos can also be used to symbolize a connection to the earth as well as wisdom.
- Bear claw or paw tattoos
Bears have five non-retractile claws which is a delicacy in Cantonese cuisine. The bear claws show a more aggressive aspect of the bear, which is opposite to what the teddy bear indicates. Besides that, they also show stability and mobility, while some people look at it as a sign of good luck.
One significant individual wearing this tattoo is Hip Hop artist Eve who has a distinctive paw print tattoo on her chest.
It can be large enough to cover the entire shoulder or as small enough to fit on the finger. You can distinguish a bear paw from a cat’s depending on the track. A cat walks on the front part of its foot, leaving marks of the claw and the ball of the foot.
The bear walks on the sole of its feet, leaving three sets of marks: the claws, ball of the foot and heel marks. You should remember this to get an actual imprint of a bear instead of a cat. Alternatively, extended claws could also distinguish cat claws from bear claws.
The giant panda is most distinguished by its black and white coat, and especially the black patches around its eyes. Because of its colour, it has been related with the Chinese Yin and Yang symbol which shows the balance of nature; good and evil.
This kind of tattoo is thereby deeply spiritual. It is also used as a symbol of good luck, harmony and balance.
- Tribal bear
These vary significantly depending on the source of the design, in any case, though, it is a symbol of deep spirituality. There are many designs of a tribal design, some people choose to only have the outline of a bear or an abstract depiction of a bear.
Whatever you choose to go for, it should represent something you firmly believe in.
- Cartoon bear
As bears have been used in various cultures, they have influenced modern day art forms, including children’s cartoons. The most common cartoon is that of Winnie the Pooh, as well as Yogi Bear.
This spiraled into creation of Gummy bear candy, all to show just how prevalent the idea of bears has become in modern times. This type of tattoo is also very nostalgic and shows the gentle and kind side of our nature.
Because of their varied nature and interpretations, you should choose carefully the design you want to wear. However, you should not limit yourself to the already preset designs, always explore by modifying the design and adding a bit more of your own character. That way, your tattoo will truly be special.