125+ best Mexican skull "calavera" tattoos - meaning of sketches (2020)

Mexican tattoos stand out for the colorfulness of their execution. They are exotic and are sure to attract everyone's attention. The semantic load of such tattoos is not as unambiguous as it seems at first glance.

One of the brightest ways to emphasize individuality and to display a vital position - to make the appropriate tattoo. The Mexican style in body painting is one of the common ones. Maya, Aztecs, the Spanish period of colonization of North America - a theme that is not so topical as it is romantic.

Mexico. Exotic Country.

The full name is the United Mexican States. Its culture is a mixture of Spanish and American. It is safe to say that Mexico is full of contrasts. People of different religions, traditions and customs can easily coexist here. Many people associate this country with men wearing sombreros. However, now this interesting and distinctive headdress can be found only with tourists.

Mexican tattoos, photos of which can be found on the Internet, are usually bright and colorful. But there are exceptions to the rules. Moreover, the natives of this country prefer drawings that not everyone will associate with Mexico. Images that are used to see in many sketches, applied according to all the rules of Mexican tattoos, can have an unexpected meaning.

Mexican Chicano style tattoo on the arm
Mexican-style tattoo on the arm

What is a chicano?

The origin of the name has no definite roots - it is a national society of the 16th-17th century living in the States, or a form of the word "Mexicano".

The tattoo in this style is not suitable for all people. It has a heavy semantic load: the story, rooted in criminal gangs, is dark and mysterious.

Chicano tattoo

Varieties of Mexican tattoo

Among the most popular Mexican tattoos, the meaning of which depends on the image, include:

  • A pistol or revolver. These types of weapons can be made on the body of a man, as well as on the skin of a woman;
  • Rose. Usually choose either a black and white sketch, or use a blood-red flower;
  • Skull. This image is closely related to the customs and holidays of Mexico.

Tattoo of a girl in Mexican style on her arm
Mexican Chicano style tattoo.

Did you know. The image of the so-called sugar skull is applied in honor of the Day of the Dead holiday. Applying this type of tattoo is considered a tribute to the dead or deceased. The skull is also applied by survivors of bereavement. Therefore, a tattoo with a sugar skull can denote a desire to pay tribute to someone who has died, but has remained in the hearts of loved ones forever.

Mexican Cactus Tattoo
Cactus as a Mexican tattoo style

Men's tattoos

Chicano is chosen by confident, determined guys. Many seek to emphasize their desperate character, love of dangerous adventures, rebellious disposition. For some, the chikano tattoo is simply an original decoration in a harsh masculine style or an opportunity to beautifully capture their life motto. A demonstration of strength and courage - another motive, forcing to do a threatening kind of natal drawings.

Rose tattoo as an attribute of Mexican imagery

The rose is a flower full of contradictory meanings. For example, they are often chosen by romantic girls. However, they also carry other semantic messages:

  • A symbol of youth. It is this flower that people like to prick people who are proud of their age. And not just girls. For young people, such a flower is a symbol of faith in the future, in the new boundaries to be achieved;
  • Mystery, silence. Mexican tattoos, the sketch of which contains roses, can denote belonging to a society, a company, connected by common secrets;
  • Eternal life and memory. Such a designation usually takes a rose applied to the hand. For example, men who are associated with dangerous work often apply such a tattoo, as a sign that they will not die;
  • Absence of obstacles. Such a tattoo choose people purposeful, stubborn. About such people they say that they are able to break through the wall, for the sake of his goal;
  • Wisdom. This value is not as common, but it occurs in some countries. Thus, the image of the rose is for people who appreciate the role of knowledge, or who consider themselves to be bearers of wisdom.

This flower can be used as the main element of the tattoo, or it may not draw attention to itself, being part of the composition.

Mexican hand tattoo in Chikano style
Mexican style tattoo

What do chicano tattoos mean?

The tattoo of this style has lost its original meanings, which are difficult to establish today. It is supposed to be a symbol of true faith. Offenders with these tattoos did not abandon their religious beliefs, so images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, crosses, and other religious symbolism appear among the style tattoos.

The meaning of the tattoo combines faith and purity, combined with the difficulties of real life.

Chicano tattoo

Sometimes chikano tattoos depict death, skeletons, skulls. Despite the ominous images, tattoos mean a higher judgment, justice, standing above the sinful world.

chicano designs

The chikano tattoo, made by a qualified master, will be bright, saturated, will be a good reflection of the beliefs of the bearer. Suitable for people who have experienced serious difficulties in life.

Gun tattoo - another element of Mexican tattoos

Any weapon is initially associated with aggression, protection or masculinity. However, it is not all so unambiguous. This kind of tattoo looks good on men as well as on fragile girls. The fact is that a tattoo depicting a revolver can have a number of meanings. For example, one of the popular ones is self-confidence, fervor, a hooligan attitude to life. A person who decided to make this kind of image part of his image, most often emphasizes his originality, the desire for dangerous actions.

Mexican style sugar skull tattoo
Mexican sugar skull tattoo


I decided to get a tattoo in a typically Mexican style because of my fascination with the culture of this country. On my forearm was a skull, in memory of my dead grandfather. He was a real hero to me, a man worthy of respect. Next to the skull is an ornament of roses, emphasizing that the man lived brightly. Also, according to many peoples, including Mexicans, this flower is a reflection of memory. I like my image very much, and most importantly, it has an important meaning for me.

Angelina, Novosibirsk.

Mexican style tattoo on a guy's chest
Mexican tattoo on my chest

Types of tattoos calavera skull

  • Black and white:

Going to get a tattoo, most people probably think of the most colorful tattoos. Although colors make for great tattoos, you can still get a beautiful black and white calavera skull tattoo and still look great.

The trend toward black and white calavera skulls is slowly catching up, and this type of tattoo could be one of the most popular in the near future.

  • Super colorful:

As mentioned above, color is the key to the beauty of any tattoo. Perhaps this is what led to the creation of the super colorful skull calavera. This type of tattoo combines many colors, most of which are bright.

However, when getting this type of tattoo, you have to be careful with your color choices, as some of them can look bulky in combination.

  • Pairs:

In this type of tattoo, tattoos come in pairs, and they are written close together. The two tattoos may be similar and may be slightly different. Either way, they still look great when drawn by a good artist. Complement your look with tattoos with flowers or fabric around them.

  • Skull and flowers:

Flowers can be used to enliven any tattoo, the exception being the calavera skull. In this option, the skull can be drawn with a flower, a background, flowers can be drawn around it or placed above or below the tattoo.

No matter how you choose, your flower and skull will look like a godsend if you choose your flowers and their colors carefully.

  • Superrealistic:

Super realistic skull calaveras take creativity to the next level. If this type of tattoo is drawn by a talented and experienced artist, it looks very realistic and can hardly be called a tattoo. This tattoo can also be done in 3D to make it look even more realistic.

  • Mixed images:

This type of tattoo combines different images with a calavera skull to give a unique and attractive look. The most common image that is often combined with this tattoo is that of an owl. There are many ways to combine images, so creativity will play a key role in creating the right tattoo.

As this tattoo continues to gain popularity all over the world, it would be a good idea to get one. However, to get the perfect tattoo, the most important thing is to get a creative and talented tattoo artist.

Chicano style. A mix of Mexico and America.

Despite the fact that this style emerged relatively recently, its popularity is great. Chicano style tattoos originated in the criminal world of Mexico. Such images were often applied by the frequenters of prisons. Gradually, however, chicano designs began to make their way onto the streets. This style has a number of features:

  • The images relate to themes of faith, crime, hope, nationality or death;
  • Popular is the face of a girl with a clear national coloring;
  • The color solution is not diverse. Black, gray and brown shades are present. Less often you can find the color red. However, he will only define the key points of the image, not touching the whole tattoo.

Did you know? In Chicano style tattoos you can also find images of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary. This is due to the fact that the style itself was born among personalities of believers wishing to receive support from above.

Mexican cartoon pony tattoo on the arm

Despite the fact that nowadays inscriptions on tattoos do not surprise anyone, it was in Mexico that they were used in drawings for the first time. Poetom and for the chicano style it is acceptable to apply dates, phrases, names.


On my back is a picture of a girl who hides her face under a kerchief. I found out recently that this pattern has something to do with Mexico. Otherwise, I just liked the sketch. It is austere, but very interesting. In addition, the execution in gray tones, with the use of clear and blurred lines looks very organic.

Vladimir, Zelenodolsk.

Ideas for placement

When choosing a place for a tattoo, it is necessary to consider several factors, in addition to the type of tattoo. For example, you should consider body spots acceptable to your career and attractive attributes that you can enhance with this tattoo.

Here are some ideas for placement of skull calavera tattoos.

  • Back tattoo:

This is a very cool place for a tattoo, especially for men. Because of the nature of the skull calavera, you can put it on your back almost any way you want and it will still look awesome. You can get this tattoo between your shoulder blades, on your back, or even in the middle of your back.

  • Shoulder:

Anyone can look good in a shoulder tattoo, so it would be a good idea to put your calavera skull here. The best thing about shoulders is that you can control how much you put them on.

  • Chest:

This is the most attractive place for calavera skull tattoos for men. Even ladies can look great if they ask an artist to tattoo them. There is more than enough room in the chest and so you can even get huge tattoos.

  • Wrist:

If you prefer small skull calaveras, the wrist is probably one of the places where you should consider placing yours. Because of the small area around your wrist, the tattoo will look more prominent despite its small size.

The color scheme of tattoos

The basic tone is considered black. Additionally, the master uses gradients to make the picture more voluminous, alive. To put accents, tattoo artists choose red, green or other base colors. The number of colors remains small. The colored spots are small in size.

Chicano in color
Basic base colors are used in the tattoo.

Popular ideas for sketches

Consider sketch ideas, finished work can be seen in the photo. It is not necessary to duplicate the finished picture on the body. If you want to get an original drawing, ask the master to make a composition taking into account your wishes.

Tattoos for women

Girls' faces will look good on women's bodies. You can add a picture of a gun, playing cards. A male portrait can be depicted on the hip.

Women's tattoo
Examples of tattoos for girls.

The Aztec gods look original. You can depict a skull with Indian symbols.

Aztec Gods
Sketches of tattoos - gods of the Aztecs.

If a girl does not want too large or aggressive tattoo, a good option for her would be an inscription in Spanish. Stamp a life motto, an important date. The names of gangs to put on the body is not recommended, as such an inscription in America may cause interest of the police or representatives of criminal gangs.

Spanish Inscriptions
Inscriptions for the tattoo should be chosen with full awareness of the text.

Popular images in the style

The most common chikano themes are religion and mysticism. So most often do tattoos with Jesus Christ, St. Lucas, crosses, the Virgin Mary, angels. Those who like to tickle the nerves, choose frighteningly beautiful drawings with skulls, skeletons.


The image of the Saint of Death, a young girl leading people to the grave, is associated with the Mexican national holiday of Death Day. Calavera Katrina is a skeleton dressed in women's clothing and adorned with bright colors, it symbolizes the supremacy of death over all living things. Girls for the festivities made makeup reminiscent of a skull with a stitched mouth - the grim beauty of such images inspired more than one master tattooist. As an obligatory attribute of the festive procession, the skull painted with the national ornament became a fashionable symbol not only among Mexicans, but also in other countries and cultures.

Popular places to apply it on the body

For chicano choose places hidden from prying eyes. The drawing of the skull, as a talisman, was applied most often on the shoulder. This image was often supplemented with inscriptions and other symbols, gradually capturing the neighboring parts of the body. Often the area of the drawing, starting with the forearm, ended on the chest, back or wrist.

Quite popular for chikano modern form of tattoo - "sleeve". Harmoniously looks uniform drawing which occupies all surface of a hand - from a shoulder up to a wrist. In such a work a master can combine both drawings and inscriptions in the same manner.

Women's tattoos

Girls who are not impressed by meaningless cute tattoos prefer to apply the image of the Holy Death or a skull painted with Mexican patterns. The owners of a firm character often choose drawings with weapons, and the opponents of idle talk - Katrina with a tied mouth or a finger attached to the lips, calling for silence.


For women

For men