Reviewed & updated: October 25, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Looking for some bow and arrow tattoo ideas matching your style? Look no further. This list of the 10 best bow and arrow tattoos is sure to inspire you!
The bow and arrow is one of the oldest and most powerful weapons that has been used by humans since prehistoric times.
Indigenous communities like the Native Americans used the weapon for hunting, fighting and defending themselves. With the invention of firearms, the bow and arrow lost significance on the battlefield.
But, it continues to be an important element in modern literature, pop culture, sports and even body art!
What does a bow and arrow tattoo mean, you may ask. The bow and arrow symbolise power, strength and resilience, which is why they inspire an array of tattoo ideas with unique meanings, amongst tattoo enthusiasts across the world.
It is a perfect tattoo for Sagittarians or people who are inspired by the values the bow and arrow symbolise. Modern fantasy series like Hunger Games also has the classic bow and arrow as their feature weapon.
You could have a deep connection to archery as a sport or the bow and arrow could be a meaningful ode to your ancestry. Or you could simply be a fan of pop culture icons like Hawkeye or Assassin’s Creed’s Connor.
No matter the motivation and association, the bow and arrow make for striking tattoos which are sure to be an amazing addition to your skin. Read below to see some of the most unique bow and arrow tattoo ideas and find the one matching your interests!
The Simple Bow And Arrow Tattoo
Often, with tattoo ideas, simplicity and minimalism never go wrong. Such tattoos can be meaningful yet cool. An example is this simple but unique bow and arrow tattoo design.
Not only is it visually striking, allowing for an elegant style statement, it also represents the classic bow and arrow symbolism of resilience.
The horizontal arrow is a reminder to look ahead and march forward; leave the negativity of the past behind and channel your energy and strength to a meaningful future. It is a sign to embrace your free spirit, a theme popular among women tattoo enthusiasts.
A horizontal arrow can also imply a threat to anyone it points at. To the person who wears the tattoo, this signifies self-protection and preservation.
The circular rings around the bow and arrow are a unique representation of the sport of archery. Many professional archers wear bow and arrow tattoos because for them it represents their passion and way of living. Interestingly, the broken circular designs also represent life and its curveballs thus being a representation of overcoming hardships.
In a nutshell, this bow and arrow tattoo celebrates the spirit of the sport and also signifies direction, movement and purpose. If these are values that resonate with you, then this bow and arrow tattoo is the one you are looking for.
The Sagittarius Bow And Arrow Tattoo
It should come as no surprise that bow and arrow tattoos are immensely popular among people born between November 22 and December 22.
The ninth sign in astrology and zodiac, Sagittarius is depicted as a centaur (a creature that is half human and half horse) pointing a bow and arrow towards the sky. Sagittarius is also the symbol of fire.
Wearing your birth sign as an ink is often considered a positive symbol of faith and good fortune. It is a simple way to pay tribute to your zodiac and embrace the values that come with it. If you are a strong believer in astrology, then this design can be a meaningful addition to your body.
Apart from this personal connection to someone’s birth, this tattoo is a powerful embodiment of a person’s inner persona. Their charisma and passion. This bow and arrow tattoo can be a simple yet mighty expression of your inner persona.
The Constellation Bow And Arrow Tattoo
While some Sagittarians associate with the centaur depiction, some prefer to get the constellation tattooed on their skin.
Compared to the heavier centaur designs, the constellation makes for a more artistic design. This is for all those people who identify with the Zodiac but prefer a neat and simple style.
This is a unique take on the classic Sagittarius constellation bow and arrow tattoo that is a sure hit amongst women.
The constellation is seen with the arrowhead while the bow is ornately adorned with flowers. This tattoo is a decorative representation of the feminine spirit and women power.
Flowers represent love, compassion, and beauty. The upward-pointing arrow is a reminder to look up at the bigger picture and hold your head high.
It symbolises a larger perspective. And finally, the placement of this tattoo on the sternum, a hugely popular choice among women, makes it all the more unique.
The Compass Bow And Arrow Tattoo
A compass tattoo stands for direction. The arrow and the compass both represent movement and aim. Together they make a powerful tattoo that symbolises someone’s chosen path, their meaning and purpose in life.
This bow and arrow compass tattoo can mean multiple things to the person who wears it. It could signify a shift in focus to a new chapter in their life. It could be a positive message of following your path and moving towards your goal. It could be a tribute to your achievements and a reminder of your ambitions. The compass acts as a guide and a simple nudge to believe in your journey.
The arrows pointing outwards from the compass represents the wearer’s constant search for new avenues and opportunities.
This bow and arrow compass tattoo holds significance for people whose way of life and ambitions are directed toward long-term success and happiness.
The Pierced Heart Bow And Arrow Tattoo
A heart pierced with an arrow is one of the most popular symbols used in many bow and arrow tattoo designs. The heart represents love and friendship. The arrow piercing the heart is a representation of the arrow of Cupid. Cupid is the Roman god of love and erotic desire.
This bow and arrow tattoo with the heart symbolism represents the feeling of being in love.
Many people who wear this tattoo, do so to symbolise their search for true love or that they have found it. This design symbolises passion and desire. People often get this bow and arrow tattoo inked on their bodies to show that they are in love and as a tribute to their romantic partners.
Even if you are not in love with a human being, you could be in love with the idea of love. Love in itself has been a powerful theme in literature, pop culture, music and body art.
John Lennon once wrote – ‘Love is real. Real is love.’ Many people swear by this belief of love and friendship having the amazing power to heal the world and make it a better place. And for such believers who are also tattoo enthusiasts, this bow and arrow tattoo becomes a matching fit.
The Bow And Arrow Couple Tattoo
Speaking of love, body art is often a strong statement of commitment to a relationship amongst people who are in love. Couples get complementing tattoos together to symbolise their mutual feelings of love, friendship and partnership.
A popular choice in this context is for one partner to get the bow inked on this body and the other partner to get the arrow. What do the couples bow and arrow tattoo mean? The simple meaning is that, like the bow and arrow which are ineffective individually but a powerful weapon when combined, the two partners in a relationship are strong together and each of them is equally important in the relationship.
This simple but visually stunning watercolour couples tattoo is a must-have if you and your partner are looking to get inked together and are in the mood to up your style game.
The artistic watercolour technique is becoming increasingly popular amongst tattoo enthusiasts as it provides a fresh look that immediately distinguishes this design from others. The bright colours are perfectly blended to give the impression of watercolour on canvas. The bow and arrow in black ink stand out on this contrasting background. This bow and arrow tattoo is cool and spectacular.
Another unbelievably unique take on love is this representation of ‘Rest Energy’, a powerful art piece by performance artists Marina Abramovic and her long time partner, Ulay.
In this piece, the couple held the bow and arrow on the weight of their body while the arrow pointed at Abramovic’s heart. In the words of the artist herself, “it was a performance about complete and total trust”.
If you are looking for a truly unique design with a special message of unflinching trust, then this bow and arrow tattoo design is made for you. This tattoo also holds significance to performance artists and people who appreciate this daring and bold work of art.
The Angel Bow And Arrow Tattoo
This bow and arrow tattoo design is for all the religious souls out there. These designs are straight out of biblical texts.
An angel as a messenger of God and pointing the arrow towards earth signifies God’s judgement and is a reminder to live by God’s teachings of faith, submission and love.
This tattoo represents the belief in good winning over evil. It is also a symbol of protection. Many people wear this bow and arrow tattoo as a homage to their faith in their higher power or a guardian angel.
The same theme in a more intricate design, this angel bow and arrow tattoo also pays tribute to the warrior spirit. Someone who fights hard and moves forward in the face of trouble.
Embrace the warrior in you with this gorgeous and meaningful bow and arrow tattoo!
The Native American-inspired Bow And Arrow Tattoo
No list of bow and arrow tattoos can be complete without bow and arrow tattoos inspired by the Native American people and their history and culture.
The bow and arrow are a vital element of Native American culture. The weapon has been actively used by Indian tribes for hunting, in battles and for sport.
It is associated with the fighting spirit of the warrior thus representing courage, endurance and struggle. The arrowhead is revered as a symbol of protection and is carried as a talisman to safeguard from enemies and harmful energies.
The feather seen in this bow and arrow tattoo is a characteristic emblem of the Native American culture. The feather tattoo is popular in itself but when combined with the bow and arrow it takes on heavy cultural significance.
Attached to the arrow, the feather helped guide it and make it fly more accurately. It is also widely believed to signify the connection between The Creator, the owner of the feather, and the bird from whom the feather came. This makes it a powerful symbol of honour, power and wisdom.
Here is another bow and arrow tattoo inspired by Native American culture.
In addition to the bow and arrow and feather, this tattoo design intelligently incorporates other Native American symbols like the eagle’s feet and the feathered headgear called warbonnet. The use of colours makes this bow and arrow tattoo pop, making it visually gorgeous and deeply meaningful at the same time.
If you are someone from Native American ancestry, or associate with the culture or simply want to get a tattoo to stand in solidarity with the Native American people and their present-day struggles, then these Native American-inspired bow and arrow tattoo designs are just what you need.
That said, it is extremely important that you do thorough research into this bow and arrow tattoo meaning so that you do not cause offence or partake in cultural misappropriation.
The Archer Bow And Arrow Tattoo
The medieval archer is a recurring element in modern literature and pop culture. The number of movies, books, TV shows, comics and video games that have featured this figure is countless. Robin Hood, DC’s Green Arrow, Marvel’s Hawkeye, Connor of Assassin’s Creed are just a few examples.
The archer is a tactful warrior and is perhaps a patron figure of bravery, combat and fight. The male archer is a classic and powerful representation of masculine strength and energy and a depiction of the narrative of man as a protector. Thus, these tattoo designs are extremely popular with men looking for a bow and arrow tattoo inspiration that is high on style and is uber cool.
That said, the more contemporary warrior woman tattoo has gained prominence with women tattoo artists and inkers. This modern and topical rendition representing the warrior as a Black woman is an exceptional example.
This is a gorgeous and powerful take on the bow and arrow tattoo as it embraces the pride of being Black. With the Black Lives Matter Movement in full spring, this tattoo could be a strong statement against the injustices against Black people around the world.
The Broken Arrow Tattoo
We have spoken a lot about the hunting and fighting spirit symbolised by bow and arrow tattoos. But strength does not always lie in the fight. Sometimes strength is displayed by refusing to fight.
A broken arrow, depicted by a snapped shaft, is a representation of pacifism and peace. In battle diplomacy, if a marksman breaks an arrow intentionally it is meant to signify the end of a battle or a resolution to bring peace. Paired with a bow, this tattoo design can stand for the powerful message of finding strength in peace.
If these are values matching your belief system, then you ought to get behind a broken arrow bow and arrow tattoo as soon as you can!
So, there you have it! Hopefully, this list of bow and arrow tattoo collections compiled by us will help you make up your mind about bow and arrow ink designs as per your style and interests.
A bow and arrow tattoo is versatile enough to suit people of different personas and values. They are also versatile in terms of placement, i.e. you can wear them on your arm, wrist, back or wherever your preferred spot is.
If this list hasn’t been enough to inspire you, here are some more designs that might be helpful.
- A pen or paintbrush bow and arrow tattoo for the artist in you.
- A western and Chinese zodiac combination bow and arrow tattoo for philosophy enthusiasts.
- A bow and arrow tattoo with the sun for an enigmatic addition to your body art.
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