Heritage Tattoos

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea made a major addition to her right arm half-sleeve with this pair of birds, which were first seen at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in Sydney on November 16, 2016.  These kookaburra birds and the waratah flower on her hand are both symbols that remind her of home.  Kookaburras  are native to Australia and are the official state flower of New South Wales, where she grew up.


Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea added to her half-sleeve in November 2016 with this flower that goes onto the back of her right hand. The flower is a waratah which is the official state flower of New South Wales, where Iggy grew up in the town of Mullumbimby.  She told 103.5 KISS FM:

I’m from New South Wales in Australia, it’s a state, and this is our state flower that I have tattooed on me. A little piece of home.

Although Australia was her first home, Iggy never felt like she belonged there.  She became enamored with America on trip to visit her grandparents when she was 11.  She loved the glamour, the fashion, and how freely people expressed themselves.  She dropped out of high school and moved to America to pursue her music career when she was 16 years old.  She told Paper:

I knew I had to get the fuck out of where I lived. It was suffocating me. I wanted to live in a place where the sky was the limit, a place where my dreams weren’t strange or weird, where others had even crazier ideas than me. I knew all of that was in America, and that’s where I had to go and that’s where I thought people were going to accept my wild thoughts. I tried Sydney and Melbourne and they just weren’t it. Nothing else was.

Although she spends most of her time in Los Angeles, she was back in Australia when she had this tattoo done by artist SAINT at The Art Of Tattoo Studio near Sydney.


Noah Cyrus

Noah Cyrus got this thunderbird tattoo on the side of her right ring finger in March 2018.  The mythological bird is a symbol of her Cherokee heritage.  Many Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, tell legends of the thunderbird — an enormous supernatural bird up in the sky that makes the sound of thunder by flapping its wings.


Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa got her first tattoo in January 2015. The writing on the inside of her right elbow says “Sunny Hill” as a tribute to her home in Kosovo. Sunny Hill is the English translation of the Bregu i Diellit district in Kosovo’s capital city of Pristina.

“Now repping my real ends #Sunnyhill “BREGU I DIELLIT” thank you @seanfromtexas for my first tattoo! #LA”

Although Dua Lipa was born in London, both of her parents are Kosovar-Albanian. She moved to Pristina, Kosovo with her family when she was 13. A few years later she returned to London to pursue her singing career.

In the years since getting the tattoo, she has established the Sunny Hill Foundation to promote arts and culture in Kosovo and created the Sunny Hill Festival which is the biggest music festival ever in Kosovo.

“Sunny Hill is the neighbourhood my parents grew up in Kosova. Its always been home to me and that’s why its the name behind the foundation and festival”


    Keke Palmer

    Keke Palmer showed off a new tattoo on the back of her neck in an instagram post in June 2016.  The tattoo of Nubian pyramids and the words “Queen of Kush” represents her African ancestry as well as female empowerment. Keke explained the history of Kush on her instagram:

    The Kingdom of Kush or Kush was an ancient African Nubian kingdom situated on the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara. (1050/1070 B.C. – 350 A.D.) but at the height of its power in about 700 B.C. the Kingdom of Kush controlled the entirety of Egypt itself with Kushite Pharaohs ruling. What I love most is it’s history’s of female rulers!! In school, we very rarely ever learn about female rules and never about African rulers. Amanirenas was one of the most famous Queens of Kush. She reigned from about 40 B.C.E. to 10 B.C.E. She is one of the most famous kandakes(means queen really but that was the title back then), because of her role leading Kushite armies against the Romans from in a war that lasted five years 😱 (27 BCE – 22 BCE). She was able to communicate a peace treaty that favoured the Kushites, granting them land and an exemption from future taxation. She has been described as brave, with one eye #MyAncestors P. S. “Egypt” is a Greek word meaning black, hence the rename when they invaded. 😳🤔😍✨👑 (shoutout to @threekingstattoo in Brooklyn ✍

    She has been learning about the ancient history of Africa and wanted to pay tribute to the better chapters of her people’s history, since so much of African-American history is tragic. She told Hot 97:

    [I’m] just trying to learn more about myself and learn about the history outside of America, my American history. I want to learn more about my ancestors over in Africa. I don’t want to always think about slavery as the only thing that happened to black folks. We actually have another history that we don’t really hear that much about where we were kings and queens. I want to hear more about that.

    The tattoo is often misinterpreted since “kush” is also slang for marijuana. Keke knew this would happen and doesn’t mind because it gives her the opportunity to set people straight and teach them about the history of her people.  She says she wants it to be “a conversation piece” and hopes that people who see her on the street will ask about it.