The Top 29 Black Mamba Tattoo Ideas – [2021 Inspiration Guide]
The Black Mamba is one of Africa’s most dangerous snakes and a popular tattoo choice for realistic-style snake body art.
The Black Mamba is one of the few snakes that doesn’t fear humans, plus it can live on the ground or in trees. These factors, plus its size (two to three meters as an adult) and potent venom make stories of the reptile part folklore and part horror story.
The serpent’s association with late Hall of Fame basketballer Kobe Bryant – whose nickname was the Black Mamba – is another reason why it’s a popular tattoo subject.
Bryant died in a helicopter crash with his daughter Gianna and seven others on January 26, 2020. His passing prompted a range of tattoos paying homage to the LA Lakers legend, often involving his personal logo entwined with a black mamba snake motif.
The following top 29 black mamba tattoo ideas showcase different iterations of the snake along with Kobe Bryant-inspired tattoo art that you can apply to your next piece.
1. Animal Realism Black Mamba Tattoo Ideas
2. Black Mamba Arm Tattoos
3. Cool and Innovative Black Mamba Tattoos
4. Black Mamba Kobe Bryant Tattoos
5. Black Mamba Leg Tattoo Designs
6. Neo-Traditional Black Mamba Tattoo Ideas
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Black Mamba Tattoo FAQs
In Western tattoo culture, the snake symbolizes betrayal, suspicion, and mistrust.
Snake tattoo design also provides elements of duality when combined with other more positive associations, such as the heart, rose, or even a skull.
In Japanese traditional tattooing known as irezumi, serpent designs are designed to showcase exaggerated sexual energy and machismo.
In contemporary ink culture, snakes are popular options for those who admire strength, healing, and the cultures of the ancient past.
For collectors that love snakes, the mamba is a fascinating choice for killer body art.
The reptile is not only large and venomous, but it’s also not scared of humans, which gives it a threatening yet mesmerizing aura akin to the cobra or rattlesnake.
Other tattoo lovers may get a black mamba tattoo because of their love and respect for the basketball player Kobe Bryant.
Bryant’s nickname (which he gave to himself, ironically) was Black Mamba because he was a killer who didn’t fear anyone.
Kobe Bryant memorial tattoos often involve a black mamba along with his personal logo, the numbers eight and 24, or are etched in the purple and gold colors of his NBA team, the LA Lakers.
Black mamba designs are generally quite large, especially in comparison to other types of snake tattoos.
Collectors who are creating a large, lifelike image like to put their black mamba on, like to utilize the upper arm, on their shoulder and chest, or coiled along their forearm.
Others prefer leg tattoos that show the snake coiled up together within the image, which makes it a great fit for placement on the calf and lower leg, or incorporated into sleeve tattoos.
The level of detail and complexity is what makes the black mamba tattoos stand out as a more expensive choice than other snakes.
While the majority are etched in tones of black and gray, the time taken to deliver realistic scales, curvature, and fangs mean that a black mamba may need an experienced professional ($150-$200), or animal realism specialist that can charge upwards of $250 per hour.
The simplest designs using black ink or only a couple of filled-in colors are liable to be much cheaper and could cost as little as $200-300 for a couple of hours of work.