A pig was one of the first animals that humans have tamed. And this domestication began the transition from nomadic hunters-gatherers society, to sedentary farmers-ranchers and creators society. Along with dogs, sheep, and goats, pigs proved that they could quickly adapt to humans and their lives more than 9,000 years ago in Eastern Turkey. And before this, people were already hunting wild pigs – boars. However, it was a threatening opponent even for a large group of hunters armed with spears and other weapons. Today, we are going to take a look at pig tattoo meaning, types and ideas. So, if you like this animal, stay with us for a while.
Pig tattoo – a symbol of fertility
We can see that the reputation of the pig differs greatly depending on the cultures of the world. The two main images of this animal are either sacred or profane and blasphemous. For the early civilizations, the pig was a symbol of luck, prosperity, and fertility. Later on, the Egyptian, Greek, and Celtic cultures linked the hog with the ‘mother goddess.’ They saw the happiness which the mother pig provided to her piglets. One of the Greek myth tells us how a pig nourished baby Zeus. As an essential symbol of fertility, the pig became a sacrifice to Demeter, Ares, and Gaia – the gods of agriculture.
Pigs played a significant role in Celtic and Western Europe cultures. For Celtic people, pigs were symbols of the Otherworld and abundance. The Lord of the Otherworld was usually portrayed carrying a pig on his shoulder. Pigs were crucial to the economy; it provided food thus the security for its owner. In China, pigs were also a symbol of luck, abundance, prosperity, and potency. The ‘piggy-bank’ is a famous symbol of savings and wealth. This image came from the olden times when pork represented wealth.
Pig symbol throughout the world
In many countries of Europe including Great Britain, Germany, France and many areas of Eastern Europe, wild boar hunting was one of the favorite activities between the aristocracy. That was because the boar was a dangerous opponent capable of fighting to the death and defend its territory. Also, the hunters would later use those skills during the real battles and wars. Therefore, the nobility respected the wild boar for its ferocity and courage. Also, during the Middle Ages, the boar was a common symbol in the heraldry of coats of arms, flags, and emblems. For example, the White Boar was the symbol of Richard III of England, and the Campbell Clan in Scotland had a boar on its logo as a symbol of courage.
In France, prospectors use pigs to search for truffles. Pigs have an overpowering smell ability, and they can locate these rare mushrooms that grow buried underground. In Germany, men used to carry small, pig-shaped amulets in their chain pocket watches as signs of good luck. While in Hungary, the highest ace of the deck of cards is ‘diszuo,’ meaning the pig.
In some parts of Southeast Asia, there was a tradition where the groom’s family gave the bride a pig as a wedding gift. Meanwhile, in some parts of Borneo, during a vital guest visit, the host would prepare a feast which would involve the slaughtering of a pig in a ritual. The guest would need to take part in it, and his participation would be a great honor.
In some Filipino funeral rites, if the person were murdered, family members would place a dead pig under the corpse as a sacrifice to the God of Vengeance.
The negative side of a pig symbol
Although most of the ancient cultures and religions consider pig as a positive symbol, there are some parts of the world where the pig is the opposite of that. For example, in Judaism and Islam, the pig is a dirty animal. We can also find some references to their nasty habits in Buddhism and Christianity. With this in mind, pigs became a symbol of moral weakness, laziness, ignorance, stubbornness, lust, and gluttony.
Moreover, the French revolutionists portrayed King Louis as a pig, symbolizing the lowest instincts of a man. Generally, in art, the pig is a symbol of misfortune. And if a person is caricatured as a pig, he probably did something insulting, or due to his lack of hygiene, fondness for getting drunk, or greed.
But, the negative view of the pig did not overwhelm its most attractive characteristics. Until today, we admire pigs for their plump looks which represents good health. Furthermore, scientists believe that pigs are even smarter than dogs, which gives them even more positive points. Finally, we find pigs in children’s books, stories, movies, and cartoons, in which usually the pig appears as fun and adorable character, e.g., Porky, Peppa Pig, and others.
According to the Chinese horoscope, if you were born in the year of the pig, you are an excellent companion and an intellectual person. You have a strong need to set challenging goals in your life and overcome them. Also, you are sincere, tolerant, and honest. But, while you expect the same from others, you also prove to be naive. But your desire to be rich can drag you down.
Pig tattoo – a perfect choice for vegans
As absurd as it sounds, a pig tattoo could be an excellent choice for a vegetarian or a vegan. If you don’t eat meat and solidarize with the animals, consider getting a pig on your body. It will always remind you of your beliefs and show others that you are serious about this. However, a pig is not a very common tattoo choice, so if you don’t want excessive attention, get it on your back, or your chest. Otherwise, people may be asking you why did you choose to get a pig, and we all know how annoying that can be.
Pig tattoo ideas
Either you’re a vegan, animal lover or you have a family symbol that contains a pig – consider getting a pig on your body. It may seem funny at first, but the more you look at this animal, the more you get to like him. While preparing this article, I searched through hundreds of pig pictures, and I changed my mind about it. It is a beautiful and exciting animal which I know so little about. It inspires me to explore our world more. Take a look at these tattoo ideas below, and maybe you will find something beautiful for yourself.