Turtles have been highly revered throughout all of history. They are a well-known symbol for perseverance, stamina, and strength. They have a hard shell that protects them from the environment, and they are equipped to travel both on land and in water.
Some turtles are able to cross entire oceans multiple times in their lives.
The Pacific Islands were some of the first places where turtle tattoos became popular, and those early tribal tattoos are still some of the most popular styles today.
The turtle is seen all throughout history as the deity responsible for Earth’s movement through the stars. Several Native American religions believe the Earth is carried on the shell of a giant turtle. Another creation story from India involves the Earth being carried by several elephants who are in turn carried on the back of a turtle.
Certain Polynesian aboriginal tribes associated the turtle with the power of their Chief.
Tribal turtle tattoos in the modern era represent many different themes. They have been known to symbolize immortality and fertility since they live so long and lay so many eggs at once. They also represent endurance and determination, as seen in the classic tale of the race between the tortoise and the hare.