While there are many designs in the tattooing world that feature birds, some are more commonly found than others so if you are looking for one that will attract attention and help you stand out from the crowd how about a parrot tattoo? Let us take a look at this colourful character in more detail and the many different meanings he can represent.

The parrot has long been associated as a companion to man, much more so than other pets of its kind, so it will probably come as no surprise to hear that it is often referred to as a guardian. The fact that it can speak too also makes it a communication symbol but there are many differing meanings depending on the cultural implications. Native American tribes often used the parrot as a totem partly due to its beauty and also because they believed it gave them psychic wings to fly high out with their every day lives. In some cultures this bird also symbolizes courtship and according to Hindu beliefs, their god Kama chose it as his personal symbol. In America’s South West, the Hopi tribes saw the parrot as a symbol of abundance and for the South in general.

Even though many parrots do little more than squawk and shriek loudly, they are really very beautiful birds with their brightly colored feathers and somewhat defiant stance. However, in the wild they are very social birds with a very developed sense of community so there is actually much more to the parrot than meets the eye. This exotic creature is very intelligent and regal as well as being quite stubborn, oracular and in some cases quite profane in its use of language. Perhaps this is why a parrot tattoo makes such a striking design in any of its different species be it Macaws or Cockatoos, Lovebirds or Parakeets or even in its lowlier form as a budgie or canary design.

In ancient Greece and Rome, the parrot was used as a symbol for those considered to be inferior in a jocular but demeaning manner as anyone referred to in this manner was actually being insulted. However during the Middle Ages, the parrot was considered to be a religious icon of divine status and in some depictions of the Virgin Mary the parrot was used to signify her maternal and virginal attributes. Incredible as it may seem today, the parrot was considered across the continent to be a natural miracle as a result of its ability to mimic the human voice. The Romans put this skill to particularly good use by utilizing the parrot it to pronounce pronouncing “Hail Caesar!” to herald the emperor’s arrival.

Another all together more altruistic reason for having a parrot tattoo may be as a reminder of how fragile our natural environment is in our modern world. Parrots are used as a symbol by environmentalists as a reminder that things in our world are not how they should be and that nature is much more fragile than we previously believed. Remember, in days gone by the parrot’s close relative the canary was used by miners digging for coal in mine shafts as a warning of toxic air. However the fragile canaries were even less tolerant to the lack of air, never mind any poisonous fumes or gases, than the miners were and would become distressed very quickly as soon as the air started to deteriorate. This ‘early warning’ system was used frequently by the miners who would take that as a sign to move to safer, higher levels. A bird in a cage is not a particularly good example of a willing volunteer so that is perhaps why it is also synonymous with a person who compromises another to further their own financial interests.

Parrots are also a symbol of the fragility of the environment and an early warning system that things may be amiss in the world. The expression, ‘Canary in the Mineshaft’, derives from the use of canaries in coal mines and mine shafts to warn of ‘bad air’, or noxious gases and fumes. The canaries had even less tolerance for poor air quality than did the miners. Coal miners took caged canaries down into the shafts as an early warning system, at the first hint of poor air quality the canaries would become distressed and the miners moved to higher and presumably safer ground. Of course, a caged bird was not exactly a willing volunteer to monitor air quality, and the expression has also come to mean someone whose safety may be compromised to further someone else’s interests, usually financial. This is certainly a bird that has been exploited over the years so perhaps it is not surprising that there are so many different meanings to this particular tattoo design.

———————————————————- • • •
NEW: Upload your Parrot tattoo designs for others to see and enjoy!

Short description of your Tattoo:

———————————————————- • • •
Latest User Tattoo Pics!

———————————————————- • • •