Tribal lizard tattoos are much less common than other designs. Still, some people choose to get the animal tattooed on their skin in beautiful tribal design. Lizards held an esteemed position in tribal culture. They were said to be messengers between the Gods and people. As a result, they symbolize:
- Appearances of Gods and Ancestors
- Evasion of danger and trouble
- Speed and agility
- Death and Resurrection
The Lizard in Culture
In Polynesian culture, spotting a gecko was equated to witnessing the appearance of a God. Geckos were said to be able to communicate with the Gods and see their world. As a result, the gecko was revered and adored by the Polynesians. The lizard was also said to guard against evils and illnesses. Furthermore, they represented deceased family members who had been sublimed. It is no wonder the tribal lizard tattoo is so popular.
In fact, the name given to the lizard’s god-like appearance is “moko”.”Moko” is also the name of the facial tattooing that is so crucial to Maori culture. In Maori culture tattooing is said to be a gift from the king of the underworld. Perhaps the spiritual name is derived from the Polynesian meaning of the lizard.
There are many species of lizard around the globe and many that Polynesian tribes would have come across. These species are:
Within these types of lizard there are many subspecies. The variety of shapes and colors, however, cannot be seen in the tribal tattoos. Tribal lizard designs are abstract depictions of lizards. They are made by using bold black curved lines to form contours and patterns. Though the dazzling colors of the lizards may be lost in these tattoos, the beauty is not. Tribal tattoos are gorgeously creative designs. One can quickly become lost in the maze of line work that creates the lizard shape.
Polynesian and Maori culture highly valued the lizard. If you are looking for a tattoo that might bring you a bit of luck or good fortune, the lizard might be a good subject to choose. Tattoos can be large or small, but the beauty and symbolism will always be massive. Tribal lizard tattoos are lucky little designs hold centuries of cultural significance.
Befriend the lizard for a stroke of good luck!