Sporting Puerto Rican tattoos is one way to display pride in your heritage.
Puerto Rican Pride
Puerto Ricans have a lot a reasons to be proud of their beautiful land. They've struggled through centuries of domination by larger world powers, yet they have managed to keep their culture in tact. Puerto Rican tat enthusiasts like to express pride in their heritage through their body ink. Let's look at a few of the many ways this is done.
Designs for Puerto Rican Tattoos
There's more than one way to show pride in your Puerto Rican heritage. Consider the following design ideas.
Coat of Arms
The Puerto Rican coat of arms is a wonderfully rich design that must be seen to be fully appreciated. You can view it here. This design is used to its best advantage when inked as a large chest or back tattoo.
Puerto Rican Flag
The Puerto Rican flag is an incredible source of pride, and probably the design most often incorporated into Puerto Rican tattoos. The flag was originally designed when Puerto Rico gained it's charter of autonomy after years of Spanish rule, but was quickly put to rest when Puerto Rico was literally given to the United States at the end of the Spanish-American war. The flag was revived once more when the territory was granted Commonwealth status in 1952.
Flag tattoos feature:
- Three red stripes that symbolize the blood shed in the name of the three branches of a democratic government.
- Two white stripes that symbolize freedom and liberty.
- The blue triangle represents Puerto Rico's government.
- The white star represents the Commonwealth itself.
Outline of Puerto Rico
Some Puerto Rican tat enthusiasts have tattoos of the Commonwealth's geopgraphical outline. This design translates nicely into a back or lower back tattoo. You can download a free outline for your tattoo artist at Digital Vector Maps.Once you have the outline, you might want to embellish it with some wording. You can simply fill it in with "Puerto Rico", or you can go with "I (heart symbol) Puerto Rico. You could also fill in the outline with the Puerto Rican flag. One further idea is to mark the city of your birth with its name and a star at the geographical location.
The Puerto Rican population is largely Catholic, so Christian iconography such as cross tattoos, Scared Hearts and rosary tattoos also enjoy a certain popularity. However, other religions such as Santeria and Palo Mayombe are also mined for original tattoo designs.
Popular Puerto Rican celebrities have been known to inspire a few tattoo designs.
- Ricky Martin: This pop music icon is most famous for Livin' La Vida Loca, although his fans have been proud of him since his days as one of the Menudo youngsters. Some tats are created using just song titles like the previously mentioned "Loca", or the equally popular Shake Your Bon Bon. Others feature the face and/or full body figure of Martin himself.
- Roselyn Sanchez: This beloved Puerto Rican entertainer is a triple threat: singer, actress and model. Her beautiful face and figure has inspired more than one tattoo.
Sports fans are inspired to ink a variety of tattoos based on their favorite native Puerto Rican athlete's likeness and, in some cases, team logo. These designs are well suited for arm and shoulder tattoos.
Well loved sport icons include:
- Carlos Arroyo: This NBA basketball player was part of the Puerto Rican team that defeated the USA in the 2004 Olympics. To date, he is the most successful Puerto Rican athlete in NBA history.
- Roberto Clemente: Clemente was the first Latin American ever to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. More than theat, he was a humanitarian. Clemente died in 1972 when the plane he was in crashed while trying to deliver much needed supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
- Hector Camacho: This three time world champion boxer dubbed "Macho Camacho" is regarded as the Puerto Rican Muhammad Ali for his prowess in the ring as well as his flamboyant style.
- Puerto Rico Islanders: This is a popular soccer team. Their team logo is a shield bearing the team name, a soccer ball and the Puerto Rican flag.
The Coqui is an endagered species of tree frog native to Puerto Rico. While the Coqui is not exactly an official symbol of Puerto Rico, this tiny creature is well loved by the population and has become an inspiration for many women's tattoos.
Even Puerto Rican gang members have their own tat design. Neta, one of the most notorious gangs, have a tattoo a symbol composed of a heart that is pierced by two criss-crossed Puerto Rican flags. The design includes a right hand in shackles crossing its index and middle fingers.