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A Brief Look at the History of Celtic Tattoos

History of celtic tattoos

Celtic tattoos history started off as part of war strategies, as the Celts used to tattoo their warriors’ bodies in order to intimidate the enemies.

It seems that the act of fighting was something honorific for the Celts, and the men often engaged themselves in battles with bare chests or even fully naked, believing to be thus even more intimidating for the enemy.

In addition to their extreme body tattoos, they also used to die their hair in bright colors and arrange it to sit in large spikes above their heads, just like the punk rockers wear it nowadays.

  • The ink for the tattoos was made from a plant called the “Woad” plant, which grew once every two years in Northern Europe and the British Isles, a plant which contains indigotin, a blue chemical also produced by the indigo plant.

The process of creating tattoo ink from the Woad plant involved different stages: after harvesting the plant, its leaves were left to dry and then they were boiled and strained several times until resulting in a glue-like substance. This paste was then used for tattoos by tapping it into the skin with an instrument similar with needles, thus introducing the die under the layers of the skin.

  • The tattoos usually consisted of various Celtic symbols, Celtic knots, swirls, trinities and circles to remind them of the importance of nature and also of animals which represented power and protection.

Except for their tattoos and crazy hair, the Celtic warriors also had serious scars from the previous battles, constituting an overall impressive image of power and domination to their enemies.

If this brief insight into the history of Celtic tattoo appealed to you, then we invite you to take a better look at Celtic tattoo designs and maybe to start off with a temporary one as a test from here.

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