Written by Kaitlin Oliver, Transforming Lives Trainee
Throughout history, reptiles have found their way into many different forms of art. All cultures have represented these animals through arts such as paintings, pottery and tattoos. Each culture have their own beliefs on what reptiles mean to them.
In aboriginal art, lizards are often painted in dotted mosaics. Belief says that lizards are part of the Dreaming Stories that relate to the creation of the natural world and to the role of Ancestors and humans in that world.
Dragons are seen in many cultures on all forms of art. In Chinese culture, the dragon is a mythical creature often depicted as a serpent-like being with the ability to fly. It is seen as symbol of power, strength, and good luck. It’s a central figure in Chinese art, especially in traditional paintings and sculptures.
Many Native American tribes created rock carvings (known as petroglyphs) featuring reptiles, such as snakes and turtles. These images often held spiritual and symbolic significance, connecting the people to their natural surroundings.
In the modern tattoo word, reptiles continue to be a source of inspiration. Reptilian motifs, such as snakes and dragons, are popular choices in tattoo art across various cultures. They can symbolize protection, transformation, or personal strength.
Showcasing the diversity of cultural artistic representations of reptiles, you can see that reptiles have held a complex and multifaceted place in human culture, from ancient mythologies to contemporary expression. Reptiles often symbolize both awe and fear, power and danger, and the natural world’s intricate beauty.