Home / Funny / Viral / Cartoonist Designs Poster Which Explains The Meanings Behind Traditional Sailor Tattoos


Have you ever seen a sailors tattoo with the diving swallows, crossed anchors, and nautical stars? Have you ever wondered what they really meant in the sailor world and traditions. 

Wait no further as you can now know what each tattoo and sign signify with a helpful illustration by “Adventure Cartoonist” Lucy Bellwood. 

Lucy created her The Art of the Sailor poster, which is a diagram that depicts a tattooed sea traveler filled with different signs and tattoos of the sailor life. On the poster it names and defines each tattoo on the sailor. 

The symbols on the sailor’s hands to his feet, tell the stories of journeys made along the open water. 

To take an example the swallow tattooed on them represents 5,000 nautical miles traveled, while a hula girl means a U.S. sea man who has been to Hawaii. The sailors also believed in different symbols for good luck.

 Another sign is the words Hold and Fast inked across the knuckles represents the hope of the sailor to have a tight grip in rigging. Another sign of hope and good luck is a nautical star which is so that the sailors can always find their way home.

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