"May you have fair winds and following seas."
- a traditional sailor's greeting
Sailor tattoos have a long and storied history. Some have morbid roots - like the pig and rooster foot tattoos to ward off a drowned man's eternal fate in Davy Jones' locker. But others are rather poetic. Here is where we were inspired to create the Mini Swallow Ring.
Since swallows return to nest in the same location year after year, the birds symbolize a guarantee that the sailor safely returns home. And if the poor soul were to be struck by tragedy and die or drown at sea, the Swallows would carry off his soul to Heaven.
Sailors wear this loyal bird as a reminder of both Home and Heaven, and to mark the milestones in life - akin to showing off one's sailing experience. According to legend and lore, if a Sailor has sailed over 5,000 nautical miles on the high seas, he would be deemed to have earned the right to wear a Swallow tattoo. For for 10,000 nautical miles, you earned a second Swallow. Countless sailors were tattooed during WWII, and the tradition remains to this day.
The history of tattooing would never be the same after WWII. We celebrate the trials and tribulations of life by etching symbols into gold and silver, wearing them everyday, and passing them down. Some of us take it a step further and show our grit by carving these symbols directly into our skin. Aye aye.