Let’s face it, hyenas get a bad rap in the animal kingdom, as well as in popular culture.
Blame a certain Disney film if you will, but man’s love/hate relationship with this wildcard creature dates back thousands of years, with much of the distaste surprisingly unearned.
Early man regarded the hyena as a trickster, a mercurial figure with no moral code but certainly not without its own obscure virtues. In dreams the hyena totem represents cleverness, and the need to think quickly on one’s feet in times of distress. It also marks the balance between having and not, and asks us to learn to laugh in the face of despair and be grateful for what we do possess. Anyone who is familiar with the hyena’s call can certainly agree to this.
A hyena tattoo acts as your own calling card in life, and while some may not immediately understand the message, they will. Like the braying beast, you laugh at the absurd assumptions and restrictions others may place on you, and prefer to find your own way apart from more acceptable routes. The hyena is both hunter and scavenger; it is never afraid to go after its prey, but neither is it too proud to swipe the leftovers of others. In other words, the hyena is a survivor.
Whether you choose a primitive rendering of the creature or highly stylized likeness, wear your hyena tattoo with pride: this is a creature that has survived for thousands of years, with little more than a brazen laugh and devil-may-care demeanor.