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Daily News29-05-2010
Tattoo tales and more...

One of the loveliest of sights, at this time of year, is that of swallows soaring and plunging in the sky.
Of course, the traditional saying is that one swallow doesn`t make a summer.`

And of course, tattoos have also become part of popular culture. You may have noticed that some of the old fashioned designs, such as ship`s anchors, pin-up girls and hearts all feature prominently. Whilst the meaning of this art work depends on individual interpretation, some symbols do carry a general meaning and one of these is of the swallow.

As far as Western tattoos go, this bird along with the bluebird and the sparrow, have a long history. Sailors often favoured this design because it symbolised returning home and in the past when travel was fraught with danger a charm or a talisman could be very reassuring.

It was also believed that should a sailor be drowned at sea, the swallow on his body would be able to carry his soul to heaven. Furthermore, since it was indelibly marked on the skin there was no way to lose it, as you might, say, a hare`s foot.

It was also believed that swallows were very faithful, so the image of this little bird would remind sailors of their sweethearts and perhaps in some way help to ensure that their partners remained true whilst they were away.

Sometimes a sailor would have a swallow tattooed on his chest; this must have been reassuring to his fellows as showed he had travelled five thousand nautical miles. Remember seafaring was a hazardous business, so the sight of someone who had survived to travel so far, inspired real confidence.

If you were fortunate enough to travel ten thousand nautical miles, you had two swallows tattooed. You might also add a swallow tattoo if you crossed all seven seas, the equator or sailed around both The Horns of Africa and South America.

However, swallow tattoos have a less charming history too, on the hands they warned others that their wearer was good at fighting and threw a quick punch. In prison culture, two swallows celebrated an inmate`s release. They also have associations with the white power movement in the USA.

On a lighter note, Johnny Depp is a well know fan of tattoos and suitably for Captain Jack Sparrow, he has a swallow tattooed on his right arm!



In This Month's Newsletter
In this month`s issue, why Jennifer Aniston seems to be unlucky in love, and how she can find her twin flame in 2010. Plus, take our astrological relationships quiz and find out if your partner is a Saint or Sinner!...
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