Jamaicas renowned for many things, not least it’s laid back Caribbean lifestyle, the Rastafarian movement and of course for its musical roots, Reggae music in particular. It is the latter that has the biggest influence on designs for Jamaican tattoos, and more specifically the late, great legend who is Bob Marley.  Jamaican TattoosThese could involve his face tattooed against a backdrop of  black, green and yellow for the Jamaican flag or an image of his guitar perhaps accompanied by three little birds or a line from one of his songs. Other popular ideas of this nature include his image accompanied by similar related images following a similar Caribbean theme such as a shining sun and a waving palm tree. This type of tattoo not only has the advantage of looking really cool but it is also a design that will stand the text of time and will never go out of style.

This legendary Jamaican singer-songwriter was born Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley on 6 February 1945. He was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the ska, rock steady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers from 1963 until his premature death in 1981 at just thirty six years of age. To this day, he remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited with helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafarian movement to a worldwide audience. Therefore it is not surprising that so many Jamaican tattoos pay homage to its most famous son. However, ironically enough Bob Markey never had any tattoos himself as this went against his Rasta beliefs which prohibited cuttings of the flesh, shaving the corner of one’s beard and cutting one’s hair.

Jamaican TattoosMany of the designs available for Jamaican tattoos are related to the Marley’s philosophies as well as his music. One of the most famous quotes that is often used as part of a tattoo design of this nature is “Money can’t buy life” which were his last word’s to his son Ziggy before he succumbed to cancer. The melanoma which he had battled for several years had spread to his lungs and brains, tragically cutting short a life that would leave an indelible imprint on millions around the world even after his death. At his funeral the Jamaican Prime Minister gave a eulogy stating: Such a man cannot be erased from the mind. He is part of the collective consciousness of the nation. The legacy that he left behind is beyond comparison and his message of peace and love to the world lives on. Therefore it is very difficult to conjure up images of Jamaica and its culture without visualizing the national flag and Bob Marley side by side.

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