With the growth of the interest by the Polish people themselves in learning more about our pre-Christian Slavic mythology and faith, we can also observe a growing trend in exploration of the Slavic themes in various forms of art.
In Poland that trend is persistent but remains quite subtle. It’s entering mostly the personal spaces but more and more often also the ‘commercial’ spheres. Take the success of ‘The Witcher’ franchise as an example, the game that is drawing so much from the rich Slavic folklore and mythology, or the ongoing short film project ‘Legendy Polskie’ with modern interpretations of Polish legends by Allegro (the biggest Polish online auction website) that featured the name of Perun and vivid Rodnovery symbolism in one of their most recent videos dedicated to Jaga (Baba Yaga – you can watch the video here, and don’t forget to turn on English subtitles).
What I want to show you today is connected to the personal spaces – more precisely the human bodies. It’s the revival of the almost-forgotten traditions meeting the modern ways of self-expression.
In the recent years many more of Polish tattoo artists are getting requests to create an artwork inspired by the Slavic faith or mythology. We can also see such fascinations across the other Slavic countries where popular Rodnovery symbols are being tattooed. In Poland what’s been popular recently is beautiful and unique portraits of the Slavic gods or demons – unique personal intepretations of their appearance by the tattoo artists.
Below you can see only some examples that recently caught my eye (the artists’ pages are sourced respectfully under each picture):
Lots of tattoos portray also the broadly understood rich Slavic mythology: the popular primeval spirits and demons known from the Polish (and the other Slavic) folklore:
Another form of the artistic expression in tattoos are motifs drawing the inspiration from popular Rodnovery symbols, from the ‘generic’ Slavic embroidery style, from Glagolitic script, from Croatian tattoos (the only historically documented cases of tattooing among the Slavic people), and other similar cultural Slavic patterns. Those can be truly a fusion of various Slavic motifs:
There are also many tattoos inspired by the patterns from the Polish folklore, mainly from the famous art of wycinanki (papercuts) or from embroidery on the Polish folk costumes. Their symbolism is usually life, vitality, strenght, rebirth or luck, depending of course on the chosen pattern.
Those can be popular folk motifs in their original style. They can also get a modern stylistic ‘twist’ in accordance to the tattoo artist’s personal art style that you can see around the end of the article:
What do you think about this form of dedication to the Slavic folklore and mythology in the modern world?