There are many popular animal images used for body art but if you are looking for one that is more unique then you may want to consider a giraffe tattoo. This is the symbol of the African continent, which is home to this amazing creature. This would be an ideal tattoo design for someone who cares deeply about wildlife, particularly saving endangered species or who is concerned about saving the environment. The giraffe is a very gentle and docile animal so it is also perfect if you want to express the wish for man and beast to live in peace and harmony.

The people of Tanzania adopted the giraffe as their country’s national symbol and there are nine different kinds that can be found in other countries on this continent too including Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. This is a staggeringly tall animal – its long neck alone can stretch up to seven feet – standing at around eighteen feet high at its fullest height. However despite its lanky physique, the giraffe is actually very graceful.

This magnificent beast is also a spirit guide in many African cultures and is known for its clarity of vision, wisdom and its ability to view everything in its periphery. A giraffe tattoo could also represent a very balanced individual, with its feet on the ground and its head in the sky that enables it to see all things, far and wide, in perspective.

Despite its gentle nature, the giraffe has also been associated with the military. When the Roman emperor, Julius Caesar returned triumphantly from Africa he brought back an elephant and a giraffe which accompanied him in his victory parade. The ruthless but extremely powerful Medici family in medieval Italy were depicted with a giraffe in Varafe’s famous painting. Giraffa is still an Italian town to this day and not surprisingly uses a giraffe to symbolize its districts but it is still widely associated with military traditions and historical customs.

The giraffe was also used as a gift for the elite in many other countries too from kings and emperors to ambassadors and conquerors everywhere from Persia to Egypt, China and beyond. In some cultures it was considered to be a very lucky symbol, not unlike the mythic unicorn but it was also widely used as a gesture of peace particularly between warring nations trying to reach accord. Due to its auspicious reputation, a giraffe tattoo makes it a perfect talisman to have inked permanently on the skin. There is also a well know expression which people associate with giraffes, ‘Sticking your neck out, ‘ which implies risk in speaking your mind and telling the truth. This could also be a way for an individual with such character traits to express themselves symbolically with a tattoo of this nature.

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