What's in a name?
Cougar, mountain lion, panther
, mountain screamer, catamount, whichever name you choose to use is up to you, but all refer to the beautiful and secretive Puma. These creatures stalk the region in the Americas that ranges from the Canadian Yukon
to the southernmost tip of the Andes
, driving fear into the hearts of wise Native American shamans and unsuspecting hikers for centuries.
Like their Panther
cousins, Pumas (also known as Cougars or Mountain Lions) are rarely seen and almost never heard of. Their secretive and solitary lifestyle has both shielded them from the threat of the outside world and made them vulnerable. Our fear of the unknown has driven us to commit strange, unspeakable acts and there have been many instances over the centuries in which pumas have become victims of our blood lust.
The animal's copper color is believed to be a sign that Pumas are totems of the Sun. They are passionate, fiery, and are often associated with energetic activities and deities. According to Spanish accounts, the Inca god Viracocha
, creator of the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, was known for his wild temper and his pet puma. The animals are known for being extremely agile, as such, it's no surprise why one of the world's most popular athletic apparels companies, Puma, has the animal as its namesake and trademark.
But despite their lively nature, Pumas are revered for their patience and quiet presence. These totems can spend hours fixed in one position while attentively watching the world around them as if they are absorbing the energy of Life itself. Pumas are extremely observant and it is said the people who identify with their spiritual energy are often quiet and mindful of what's happening around them. They move with stealth and grace, whether they are stalking an elk or going about their daily life.
When it comes to safeguarding her kittens, a puma mother has a reputation of being fiercely protective. She will go to any extreme and tackle any creature - regardless of size - in the name of keeping her little ones safe. For this reason, the Puma is seen as a symbol of Protection, Guardianship, and Motherhood in many Native American cultures. Additionally, it takes guts to successfully take on a fully grown male black bear that has strayed a little too close for comfort to your babies. That is why Pumas are renowned for their courage and tenacity.
Pumas are known to be opportunistic hunters
. From giant ungulates
like elk and deer to insignificant insects, these cats make the best use of their territory and available resources. Thanks to this behavioural trait, these beautiful totems are revered as symbols of Opportunity and Adaptability, and they are respected for their keen survival instincts. This reputation has also led to the hidden meaning of the term "cougar". A Cougar is a fiery, older woman who is often attracted to younger males. Cougars are usually powerful, rich, and successful women and in a sense, she is seen as a person who preys on younger males, taking advantage of their desire to live the high life.
With everything being said, Pumas are a walking mix of contradictions; they are energetic and lively, yet quiet and watchful. If you are a mix of contradictions, then why not get a Puma Tattoo?
The Meaning of Puma Tattoos
The Mountain Lion
is more than just a wild animal that stalks the remote mountains of North America. It is a key symbol of many noble traits, including:
- Attentiveness and Observation
- Spiritual Awakening
- Secrecy and Privacy
- Death and Destruction (Apache and Walapai Indians)
- Patience and Persistence
- Guardianship and Protection
Puma Tattoo Variations
For the most part, the iconic and extremely popular variation of a Puma Tattoo closely resembles the trademark sign of the athletic firm Puma.
It sounds strange, but the classic image conjures up feelings Power, Strength, Perseverance, and Agility, all traits that the world's top athletes possess. Although it is not impossible to see images that more closely resemble the cat's true features, majority of the puma images inked on skin have tribal influences particularly from cultures in the animal's territory. Pumas are revered by native tribes in North America, so Puma Tattoos are known to contain key, yet sometimes subtle cultural references from the region.
If you are a spiritual child of the Puma, then a great tattoo design can channel your smooth and deadly personality.
Puma Tattoos are relatively simple, but this does not mean that the message sent by these designs aren't potent. A Puma is a hunter, a fighter, and a survivor, and the world knows better than to underestimate the animal's prowess and skills. As with most animal designs, placement is everything, so it pays to keep a keen eye on where you'll put this tattoo on your body. Creating a design that draws a crowd can be daunting, but the team at www.itattoodesigns.com is more than happy to lend a helping hand. Just visit our Custom Design Service
to get started.