Hands have long been used as symbols in various types of art. The symbolism has evolved, but their fundamental purpose remains the same: to communicate ideas, actions, and concepts through sign language.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the symbolism, as well as the different types of handprint tattoos and their meanings. We will also provide some examples of tattoos incorporating handprints for your enjoyment!
TYPES OF HANDPRINTS AND THEIR MEANINGS
Handprints have been used extensively in religious art for many centuries. While different cultures might feature slightly different types of handprints, the general symbolism is usually similar.
In many cultures , a handprint was used to symbolize a greeting, good luck or even protection against evil forces. In some areas it was believed that placing a handprint on a wall would bless the place and protect it from harm, while others thought that an image of a hand would repel evil forces.
It was also believed that creating an image of a hand to welcome someone or wish them luck would help you gain their trust – so if you wanted people to be nice to you, this was one way to go. The Native Americans used handprints extensively in rock art , as well as petroglyphs – but they also placed them on their clothes, where they would serve the same purpose.
The most common type of handprints seen in religious art are palm prints, which feature lines coming out of a closed fist with all fingers pressed together. This is usually an indication that the person placing the print was viewed as being very blessed or protected by a higher power.
In some cultures , a handprint featuring fingers pointing towards someone was believed to bestow protection, while others thought that the print would point out their weaknesses – depending on who placed it there.
“Our hands are the instruments of our craft. They’re what enable us to do all that we can do.” – Jaimie Cloud
This can be seen in different types of artwork worldwide, but is especially common in art from the Philippines , where it’s often called the “hand of providence”.
Handprints are often seen in Christian art as well. The most common use for this type of hand art was to illustrate the apostles , or disciples, of Jesus Christ. This is usually done by having all twelve apostles place their hands on either a side of Jesus’ body or his head – but it can also be seen as a type of blessing and protection.
The use of handprints in Christianity dates back to the Middle Ages , specifically during the 14th century . The faithful would create small images depicting their patron saints and place them on their clothes, objects or even body parts. This was believed to bring good luck, as well as make you more successful in life.
In some cultures , handprints had a very different meaning. In Japan , for example, they did not want to keep images of people inside their homes – which is why they did not use them in religious art until the Heian period . Instead, they would place more emphasis on flowers and animals.