Viking Tattoos

Looking for Viking tattoos? There is a lot of Viking art available on this site and it’s all free for you to use as you like. Please feel free to surf the various Norse tattoo designs from the link below. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Historically there is little evidence that the Scandinavian Vikings used tattoos to express themselves. However, the Rus Vikings seem to have tattooed themselves according to Ahmad Ibn Fadlan an Arabic diplomat who encountered Rus Vikings while visiting the Bulgars in 922 AD.

According to his observations the Vikings were tattooed from the fingertips to their shoulders with green trees. It is important to note, however, that the Arabic word used to describe the color can also mean dark blue or black.

It is more likely that the color observed by Fadlan was either of these dark ones since the Vikings used wood ash for coloring.

The pattern that Fadlan described as being trees, is probably more likely to be the typical knot pattern that was common in Scandinavia and England. This knot work is also common in modern Celtic design tattoos .

Viking tattoo designs

If you are seriously considering getting a tattoo based on the Viking heritage, I’d say you’ve got two paths you can follow. The strictly authentic one or the mythical one.

If you want to keep the design authentic you should avoid having a Viking warrior inked on you with a horned helmet. The Vikings never had horned helmets. They were very practical when it came to weapons and armor.

Just imagine being a Viking warrior with a horned helmet and in the middle of a battle your enemy gets a hold of the horns on your helmet and starts yanking you around.

Also avoid depicting a double bladed Viking axe. They never existed. Again the Vikings were very practical and the Viking axe was very light and narrow. The Vikings also never had in a single weapon a combination of a spear and and axe. All this is very common in mythical Viking tattoos.

If you are thinking about a Viking gods theme, then study carefully the Viking mythology found in the Icelandic sagas. They are the single most important source of information about the Viking gods. You will however always need to rely on your imagination in the end since the information about the Viking gods isn’t complete.

My advice to you if you want to go strictly authentic is to study the many Viking design forms that have survived. I’ve uploaded a lot of Viking art that you can download and use. Try to combine several motives to get your own unique Viking tattoo designs with the help of your local tattoo artist.

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