The palm tree is a symbol that evokes a spectrum of associations, from the solitude and loneliness of a desert island, to celebratory relaxation in a tropical paradise. Depending on your style and taste, a palm tree tattoo could hold deep personal, cultural and historical significance for you, or it might just mean that you like palm trees. However you choose to look at it, there are endless ways to incorporate palm trees into tattoo designs.
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Many palm tree tattoos depict a stylised lone palm growing out of a tiny sandbar against a backdrop of ocean and sky. One tattoo image depicts a skull in the sand below the tree, implying a lonely death or no hope for escape from a desperate situation.
Another image shows a heart in the background forming around the tree and the tiny island of sand, giving the impression of an exclusive and solid love between two people.
A further variation on the desert island theme displays two hearts of different colours joined together as the island from which a single palm tree has grown. There are stylised coconuts in the trees that evoke the sense of a fruitful and nourishing relationship.
Cultural and Personal Pride
People born in Hawaii, Florida, Southern California and other tropical locales can often be seen sporting a variety of different palm tree tattoos to express hometown and cultural pride. One possible design in this theme is a palm tree to one side with the sun rising over a tropical horizon over the name of your town or state.
The South Carolina state flag depicts a palm tree under a crescent moon on a deep blue background. Tattoo artist Jesse Lee Vaughn sells a tattered South Carolina flag tattoo design that looks like the flag emerging through cut-open areas of skin. If you grew up in a tropical area, consider depicting a tropical palm tree scene from photos of your hometown and incorporate your name somewhere in the tattoo.
The date palm has been greatly valued for thousands of years in Persia and the Middle East as a resource that provides food, fibres, shelter and even sap distilled to make liquor.
For a tattoo, imagine an elaborate depiction of a palm tree surrounded by silhouettes of people making use of its parts in these ways. The date palm symbolises the Tree of Life in Assyria, and the ancient Egyptian sun god Ra was purported to have considered the palm crown sacred. If you find Egyptian mythology meaningful, consider various depictions of Ra with a palm crown worked into the piece.
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