8 Beautiful Feather Tattoo Designs + Meaning and History

Although feather tattoo designs have become increasingly popular over the last few years, they certainly not a new fad. Feather Tattoos have been inked upon human bodies for hundreds of years. If you’re interested in getting a feather tattoo of your own, read on to learn about the special significance that the humble feather has had in different parts of the world.

Historically speaking feather tattoo designs were prominent in a variety of cultures, located across multiple continents. Each of which had their own unique interpretations of what feather tattoos symbolized.

Feather Tattoo Behind The Ear

Cultural History

The Native Indians of North America believed that feathers were a spiritual symbol. Traditionally Native Americans would decorate their ceremonial head dresses and clothes with ornamental feathers as they believed that in doing so they would share a bond or connection with the spiritual realm.

In fact many Native American tribes believed that wearing feathers would provide them with guidance from their spiritual gods. So it should come as no surprise that many Native Americans chose to tattoo their bodies with images of feathers.

feather tattoo designs for shoulderThe Native Americans also believed that different types of feathers signified different attributes. An eagle feather was a popular tattoo for young warriors and signified valour, bravery and heroism. To some tribes the hawk feather also signified one’s life force.

In Native American culture feathers also reflected the rank and seniority within a tribe. Those warriors who had proved themselves in battle, received feathers to adorn their head dress with. Being able to complete a head dress was one mark of a boy becoming a man and a fully fledged member of his tribe.

feather tattoo designs for wrist


In contrast the Chinese believed that peacock feathers symbolized love, wisdom and empathy. Historically a sizeable percentage of young Chinese women chose to adorn themselves with peacock feather tattoos, in an effort to bring favourable luck to any offspring they produced.
The humble feather also had a special significance to the Celtic druids, located half a world away, in what is now the United Kingdom. Historically the Celtic druids covered themselves in robes adorned with feathers in order to perform mystical rituals in honour of their sky gods.

Such acts drew many parallels with the rituals of the Native Americans. Some druids also decided to permanently tattoo themselves with decorative feather tattoo designs, in the hope of enjoying a special connection with the gods. Whom they believed could help them achieve spiritual transcendence.

As time passes feather tattoo designs also gain new meanings. In modern day society many people choose to get inked with a feather tattoo design, in remembrance of a loved one which they have lost. This practice has ties to many ancient cultures, including the Native Americans.

What do feathers signify to you?

In conclusion feathers have been a popular tattoo choice for hundreds of years. However if you’re contemplating getting a feather tattoo of your own, it’s not necessary to worry too much about what feather tattoos mean to different cultural groups. The real significance of a tattoo, is its meaning to its owner. To some a feather signifies hope and freedom and to others it signifies bravery and honor. What do feathers signify to you?

If you liked these designs and this article please share the post by using the social buttons above. Thanks for viewing our feather tattoo designs post and good luck on your hunt for the perfect tattoo!

feather tattoo designs for feet

Go back to the home page.