Mermaids have always been cool, sexy and mysterious.
They weren’t cool for a while! Now mermaids are a hot trend.
And if you’re in Bali, Indonesia, this might be completely in your face. So what if the Bali phase of Mermaid Mania came to fruition months after the rest of the world’s mermaid obsession? That’s just how it goes on island time. Santai (Relax). Enjoy it!
At TATTLAS Bali Tattoo Guide, we’re mostly paying attention to the tattoo part of this ‘tail.’ Carefully collected like sea shells, we finally have pictures of enough locally-made mermaid tattoos to share them with you here.
This trend made us dive in really deep! We’ve included not only Bali tattoos but mermaid art of different mediums found around the archipelago plus flash sheets, coloring sheets, siren illustrations from old world stories and Indonesia’s own mermaid tales.
Old and new school mermaid tattoos, watercolor mermaid designs, smiley redheads, evil dark mermaids, Indonesian tato putri duyung and more…
IF ONLY Instagram would freaking let you filter for tags in a specific location or two tags at once, this album may have come out sooner. Bee-tee-dubs our Instagram account @tattlas is only tattoos made in Bali, just like this website. That’s the magic of TATTLAS. We work hard so that finding the best Bali tattoo artists is an easy, smooth sailing mission for you.
OLD SCHOOL MERMAID TATTOOS
How tempted are you by these American traditional tattoo mermaid designs? All inked by class-act Bali tattoo artists, this is just the beginning…
Artist: Chain Electric Tattoo | Studio: HBSC Bali
Disclaimer: these mermaids were made pre-2019 at Hundred Brothers Social Club in Legian, Bali.
These black ink trad. tattoos of shy topless mermaids were done by July Arthaya. His talents are available at the name-says-it-all tattoo shop Bold and Bright Tattoo Parlour on the shortcut road in Canggu, Bali.
The name suggests it’s a good place to go for traditional tattoos obviously you know because “bold and bright” is how tattoo legends Sailor Jerry and Ed Hardy described their artworks.
We know just where to send you if you’re looking for an Americana tattoo in Bali or a more modern mermaid.
Artist: Yadriart | Studio: Rose Tattoo Studio Bali
Artist: Gede Sony | Studio: Mason’s Ink
Neotrad tattooed mermaid
Shared by: Ink Art Bali
We need to give this “self care” piece a shoutout for at least two reasons:
1) the hot pink starfish pasties are seriously stylish and 2) exceptional color and composition. Choosing orange and purple as main colors can sometimes make a tattoo look tacky or unintentionally sporty, yet here the contrast pair is balanced and supported by a well-chosen modern palette.
Neo-trad redhead pinup
Artist: Ricky TNT | Studio: Two Guns Tattoo Bali
NU SKOOL & WATERCOLOR MERMAIDS
Pick a color.
Which crazy, sexy, cool Bali mermaid tattoo are you? Choose from girly cartoony mer-babes with new school style, colored hair and iridescent tails or mermaid tattoo designs from a tattoo art category completely made for mermaids: watercolor.
Artist: Agung Blondy
Artist: Chandra | Studio: Celebrity Ink Bali
Artist: Jhon Kidal
Artist: Ricky TNT | Studio: Two Guns Tattoo Bali
Artist: Ricky TNT | Studio: Two Guns Tattoo Bali
Studio: Yan Tino Tattoo in Ubud
Artist: Bimz Gardenink | Studio: Star Angels Tattoo Bali
Artist: Eka Lelong | Studio: Paradise Ink
Where are the Ariel tattoos?
In 1989, Ariel became a world-famous phenomenon with the release of Disney’s animated film The Little Mermaid.
In 2020, Ariel got her own gallery on the Tattlas blog…
“And then there is the youngest in her
musical TATTOO debut… She’s our sister, Ariel!”
Mermaid Tattoo Inspo
If these tattoos from Bali don’t inspire you, then you might want to look at other mermaid art in Bali and beyond for more mermaid tattoo ideas.
Take these hand-carved wooden mermaids with pink tails for examples. Internationally recognized as a way to show gratitude or pray, this hand gesture is also a welcoming pose in Balinese culture.
What do mermaid tattoos symbolize?
Where did mermaids come from? Are they real? Who’s responsible for introducing mermaids to pop culture?
Since we don’t know the answers, here are some earlier mermaid art references as clues.
Historically, mermaids were not trustworthy damsels.
Before they were made into pin-up art in Hawaii (and Bali), before they were bubbly cartoon characters, sirens of the sea symbolized danger and deceit. Skip to the end for more on Indonesian mermaid folklore.
DARK ART, BLACKWORK & BLACK AND GREY MERMAIDS
If a mermaid is stuck in a jar or cut up into pieces, it’s happened for good reason.
If she says she doesn’t speak your language mon chérie, trap her before she traps you.
Artist: Gayus | Studio: Altar Tattoo Bali
Artist: Artem | Studio: Artful Ink – Seminyak, Bali
Artist: Ali Bastardos – Canggu, Bali
Artist: Dwe’x | Urusai Ink – Canggu, Bali
Artist: Andre Tattooer | Studio: The Tattoo Room Canggu
Studio: Ibu Tattoo – Ubud, Bali
Artist: Genyol | Studio: Big Rock Tattoo Sanur
Artist: Novacuztom Tattoo – Kuta, Bali
Artist: Ipin Latattu – Canggu, Bali
Double trouble. Alluring temptresses, all mer-people tease with good looks and some are downright evil. They can also be muses.
Straight off the pages of a fairy tale.
Artist: Pank Tatz – Seminyak, Bali
Now these mermaid designs remind us of old-fashioned illustrations from a storybook we could read again and again.
One cohesive collection of classic mermaid tattoos, it could only be the work of one artist. And that it is, although he does have several names.
For mermaids just like those seek out “Sod the Dog” at Duē Hatuē private studio in Canggu, Bali. His identical twin brother tattoos there too, and the next pieces are his…
Tattoo Artist: Foad | Studio: Duē Hatuē
Wait. Is she actually a mermaid on the left or do we see the tip of a SHOE near the bottom? Well, this next one is certainly a fish-tailed woman…
Artist: Foad | Studio: Duē Hatuē
TATO PUTRI DUYUNG (INDONESIAN MERMAID TATTOOS)
You poor, poor princesses.
There are widespread stories about a certain Indonesian mermaid character and surprise! Just like the mythological mermaids of other oceans, she too is a beautiful heart-breaking soul-taker.
In Javanese folklore, the mermaid form of sea goddess Nyai Roro Kidul is called Nyi Blorong or “Queen of the South Sea.”
Recognized by her green and gold outfit complete with a crown and cape, this female Indonesian mythological figure is a popular choice for a fantasy costume party. And just like other less modest mermaid costumes, know that choosing to dress up as putri duyung Nyi Blorong is still an excuse to look sexy, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing it or getting a tattoo of her.
Looking a bit like Cleopatra, dear “Roro” is often shown wearing gold jewelry in the shape of a snake and she sometimes has a Medusa thing going on with snakes in her crown.
The Sundanese version of the story says that Dewi Kadita became a fish when she was cast into the sea by black magic for making some regrettable choices. Harsh punishment.
Wikipedia has all the details about this shape-shifting seductress “The Javanese Spirit-Queen” and warns strongly against wandering seaward when wearing her color.
We haven’t recognized Indonesian mermaids in any Bali tattoos lately, but here’s a piece that fits nicely in this spot:
An artsy tattoo of a mermaid with a sun for a head, stars for nipples and an eel for a pet! We think the fin at the end of her tail is really something special.
Artist: Batinta.tu | Studio: La Femme Tattoo House
Stories of Balinese mermaids have proven harder to find.
Balinese dragon-like sea serpents are called naga (they ain’t mermaids).
As some Hindu deities have a fish tail only now and then, maybe ‘mermaid’ isn’t considered a permanent classification for them.
‘Makara’ in Sanskrit
Makara refers to hybrid sea creatures in Hindu mythology.
Editing in progress!
If you’re seeing this message, please refresh your browser, come back soon or contact us. ~ Tattlas Bali Tattoo Guide
This guy comes up on Fandom.com within a community forum dedicated to “cryptidz” which are creatures commonly defined in the context of something like…
Believe It Or Not?!
It serves as their main picture for Gajah Mina, described as an Indonesian fish-elephant sea monster.
Artist: Prima | Studio: Ma Tattoo Bali
Finally! This explains the beastly statue on Pererenan Beach.
Pererenan Mermaid Statues:
Sitting atop a tall block base the size of a city building is a female figure riding a decorated elephant creature with what we were calling a mermaid tail. Word choice was the culprit of a total research fail until now.
There are also two finned goddess statues positioned like guardians at the end of the road to Pantai Pererenan.
Seminyak Mermaid Statues:
In seaside Seminyak, (Beginner Surf Central, Bali) somewhere amidst the bustle near Double-six beach, you can find a similar pair of mermaid maidens in Indonesian traditional dress.
And yes, Balinese Gajah Mina statues as well; a matching pair. Carved from limestone and painted with gold accents, each has essentially a curved scaled tail for a body rising up from a big elephant head at its base which is shaped and decorated with characteristically Balinese embellishments.
If you know more about Balinese and Indonesian mermaids, please share in the comments….
The next picture is the best example of a “Balinese mermaid tattoo” we could find!
NINGYO NO IREZUMI (JAPANESE MERMAID TATTOOS)
Shared by: Azume Tattoo Studio – Seminyak, Bali
Artist: Jimmy Toge
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Mermaid flash by Ali B
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Flash sheet by Duē Hatuē
Then the hand
with the tattooed scales
by the sea
whispered to me
“sampai jumpa lagi.”
Photo via Instagram @maria___kasta
Collection curated by TATTLAS Bali Tattoo Guide.
All of the mermaid tattoos and other media published in this post from third-parties had previously been shared publicly by the artists, studios and individuals credited; image rights belong to them. Hyperlinked text is used to credit websites as sources only when there is no better alternative.
Questions/Comments? Please contact us directly.
LAST UPDATES: 10 JUN 2020, 11 MAR 2020, 14 AUG 2019, 19 JUL 2019, JUN 2018