Top 83 Mayan Tattoo Ideas – [2021 Inspiration Guide]
A lot of Mayan art that inspires tattoo designs traces back to the period between the years 200 and 900. These are largely based on sculptures that were found on the exteriors of buildings as well as hieroglyphics and wall paintings that graced the interiors. Many depict totem animals such as jaguars, eagles and snakes, all of which are ideal for tattoo work.
You can’t go wrong with any of these as jaguars symbolize stealth, agility and strength while eagles speak of power, ferocity and foresight.
Lovers of Mayan culture appreciate the snake and serpent’s symbolism of spirituality and the sky. It’s no wonder that Mayan tattoo art often depicts these reptiles with wings. If you’re interested in tattoos that feature ancient hieroglyphics of this ancient empire, keep in mind that they’re still being deciphered.
You don’t need to have ancestors from northern Central America or southern Mexico to enjoy Mayan tattoos, although these designs make great tributes to an ancient heritage. Even if you have no genetic ties to the culture, this particular body art pays great homage to a deeply spiritual society.
Since some of the Mayan symbols have details that won’t translate well into tattoos, work with an experienced artist who can adjust a design to your liking.
1. Mayan Tattoos: People and Faces
The Mayan culture is considered to be one of the first cultures that were historically recorded on earth. Their people were highly spiritual, so it would make sense for a person who considers themselves to be highly spiritual to feel a connection to their teachings and symbols. Stone carvings marked their appearance, a style that continues to thrive within their Mayan descendants.
Many of the pieces in this section rely on the facial expression of the Mayan peoples, with some relying on the precision of photorealism, while others replicate the animated features of the stone carvings. These stunningly detailed pieces reveal stylish headdresses and the jewellery adorned by the Mayan peoples, often with expressions of pride and individuality. Some of the faces are slightly distorted, leading to a more surrealist approach to the narrative and imagery.
Some pieces showcase various topical narratives and apply classic Mayan symbols and shapes indicative of traditional carvings, where others simply required a portrait of an imagined warrior, carrying them through the day-to-day strife of life.
2. Mayan Skull Tattoos
Skulls and the Mayan culture have a distinct fusion between one another. It is known that defleshed and painted human skulls were worn around the neck as pendants by victorious soldiers, who were then buried with them once they passed away. The Mayans were also known to have intentionally stretched out their own skulls beginning in childhood due to its religious importance and as a signifier of beauty. Archaeologists also discovered that Mayans once used skulls as holders for incense on their ancient alter.
With this history in mind, getting a Mayan tattoo and blending it with the image of the skull seems like a no-brainer—pun intended. Not only do these pieces recognize a historical relevance within the culture, but they also may express the Mayan notion of respect for death and the afterlife. The styles that mesh the image of a skull with various Mayan symbols is generally that of a Gothic nature; applying heavy black shading and a look that foreboding.
3. Mayan Pyramid Tattoos
There exists a number of Mayan pyramids that continue to stand tall to this day within southern Mexico and Central America. These impressive and ancient relics are popular tourist areas for the history nerd and apparently are fairly favoured amongst the tattoo community. The Maya pyramids existed for both practical and religious reasons; to act as a housing for burials, to observe the forest from a vantage point over the ground, and as a shine for a particular deity.
People who get a tattoo in homage to the Mayan culture tend to blend several elements into one piece, which generally include the Mayan pyramid because of how structurally sound and beautiful it is. Some individuals though just solely the image of the pyramid done, which could have a religious connotation or simple respect and admiration for the incredible constructional feat. Some of these images are simple, while others apply the intense detail that has been discovered on a number of ancient Mayan ruins.
4. Mayan Symbols/Calendar Tattoos
One of the most famous images associated with the Mayan culture is that of the Maya calendar. This stone carving is actually a system of calendars used by multiple Mesoamerican cultures, incorporating a series of symbols and astrological concepts relating to the concepts of the moon and the presence of night.
Getting the entire calendar tattooed on your body requires dedication for a number of reasons. First of all, the calendar contains an incredible amount of detail, and cannot be squished into a small space or you risk fading and a simply unattractive tattoo. Secondly, because of the detail, it cannot be small. You are going to commit a fair amount of real estate on your skin for this piece.
There are several pieces in this section who committed entirely to a respectful depiction of the piece, while others appear to already be fading. These individuals all clearly have an interest in one of the first and most complex early-civilizations or are going for something aesthetically intricate.
5. Mayan Animal Imagery
There are specific animals that act as potent symbols for the Mayan peoples. The most popular ones that people transfer into tattoo work relate to the jaguar, the black howler monkey, the rattlesnake, armadillos, bats, deer, rabbit, owls, ducks, and falcons. All represent some aspect of the Mayan culture and probably mean a great deal to the individuals getting them tattooed on their skin.
The Mayans often included animals on their totem poles, which clearly a play on image for the piece that appears to include a brilliantly coloured parrot. It is likely that some parrots may have existed during the time of the Mayans, but they didn’t particularly worship them. Another piece is flat like a detailed wood or stone-carving, a Mayan individual pulling down the moon with a rabbit observing. Rabbits were directly related to the moon, as well as writing and the use of the arts. A great swooping owl appears on a giant back-piece, placed between skulls and probably signifying death and other underworld concepts.
Mayan Tattoo FAQs
What do Mayan tattoos symbolize?
There are a number of symbols (or glyphs) from the Mayan culture that an individual might feel compelled to get tattooed. All of these images are going to have their own meaning in relation to the Mayan culture, and in relation to the person getting the piece done.
For example, a bat symbolizes the guardian of the Mayan underworld, and where the snake/serpent symbolizes agility and mystery. A jaguar represents the relationship between humans and the earth, and the eagle was believed to have paved the way for high existence within the Mayan culture. One of the most popular Mayan tattoos is the Mayan calendar which often act as an intricate homage to the pre-historic culture.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather Watch
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.