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30 Specific Mayan Tattoos and Their Unique Meanings

Dating back 3,000 years, the symbols that the Mayans used have long been associated with wonder and mystery. The Mayan civilization were one of the only ancient civilizations that actually developed their own writing system.

Their hieroglyphs, or symbols, are original and have some very distinct meanings. There are a few of these symbols that have become very popular Mayan tattoos for a variety of reasons.

Here are just some of the most popular symbols and their unique meanings.

1. Mayan Sun Symbol

No other civilization put more focus on the sun than the Mayans. The sun brought these people their crops, helped them tell time, and was considered a god to all Mayans.

Related article: 23 Sun Tattoos and Their Powerful and Symbolic Meanings

The Mayan tattoos representing the sun can symbolize enlightenment, productivity, and divinity. Known as the Ahau symbol, it has also been interpreted to mean the teache or the light of knowledge.

2. Mayan Jaguar Symbol

According to the Mayans, the jaguar ruled the night and the underworld. By day the jaguar prowled across the sky and returned to the underworld as dusk arrived. This unique symbol when used in a tattoo can represent divinity, strength, and domain over all things.

Related article: 7 Jaguar Tattoos With Elegant and Strength Meanings

Those who can relate to the jaguar understand his powers over the night, being a stealth fighter who attacks prey under the cover of darkness and is impossible to defend due to the fact he blends in perfectly with his surroundings. The jaguar tattoo is a very popular tattoo symbol for leadership and confidence, just like Maori tattoos.

3. Mayan Eagle Symbol

The eagle in Mayan culture was thought upon as a creature who paved the way for a higher existence. The eagle in Mayan tattoos is a representation of contemplative thought, assisting those who wanted to discover and harness their inner wisdom.

The eagle has long been a symbol for clarity with the Mayans, giving a person the ability to have a clear mental focus while paving the way for telepathic acuity.

When incorporating the Mayan eagle in a tattoo, it can also represent power, freedom, higher calling, and the ability to soar over others and protect.

4. Mayan Earth Symbol

The Mayan civilization was completely consumed with the sun and earth symbols, and the earth had significance with every Mayan because they believed it was here that a higher force was at work.

The earth tattoo symbol is a representation of a connection with that larger force, a slow-moving and shifting force that would help transition from difficult to good times.

Patience is associated with the earth symbol, it can assist a person to become centered and they delve from inner thought to conscious thought. Mother earth is nurturing, caring, loving, and extremely powerful.

5. Mayan Bat Symbol

The Mayans referred to the bat as the zotz, and it was considered to be a guardian of the underworld. This bat symbol although considered to be dark, was not associated with good and evil as we see it today.

The Mayans, in fact, drew a faint line in the sand between good and evil, so the bat was worshiped for both its light and dark qualities. Today, many people who choose the bat for their skin art connect this ruler of the dark with rebirth, illusion, intuition, journeying, and power.

These Mayan tattoos are extremely popular today because each symbol had many different meanings to this civilization.

Good and evil was not considered two separate entities to the Mayans, they found appeal in both and that gives a person the ability to incorporate their own meanings to these ancient symbols.

Mayan Tattoo Gallery

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