PHOTOS Rihanna’s Egyptian falcon tattoo inspired by Met Museum artifact?

Rihanna falcon ankle tattoo

Rihanna took to Twitter Friday night to share a couple photos of her latest bit of skin art from New York City’s tattoo artist to the stars, “Bang Bang” (Keith McCurdy). The tat, located on the outside of the singer’s left ankle, is a depiction of an Egyptian falcon that appears to be in the shape of a gun:

Rihanna falcon gun tattoo ankle

Rihanna also shared some insight into the meaning of the tattoo by tweeting, “Falcon: a light that shines in the darkness! Never close their eyes during sleep.” (Those words came shortly after the slightly less informative tweet, “Falcon sh!t!!!!”)

Bird tattoo on Rihanna's ankle featuring Egyptian lanner falconHere is some info on the use of the falcon in Ancient Egyptian art from

“The sacred bird of the falcon-headed solar god Horus, it was also regarded as his Ba. The falcon was a bird that had protective powers, and was frequently linked with royalty, where it was depicted as hovering over the head of the pharaoh, with outstretched wings. The falcon was also sacred to Montu, god of war, and Sokar, god of the Memphite necropolis. The bird of prey was sometimes associated with Hathor, ‘The House of Horus’. The son of Horus, Qebehsenuef who guarded the canopic jar of the intestines, was a falcon-headed god. The human headed ba-bird was sometimes given the body of a falcon.”

And speaking of Ancient Egyptian art, it appears as though Rihanna (or Bang Bang, or both) got the inspiration for the tattoo from a 2,300-year-old faience falcon on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. (Remember, NYC is where Bang Bang does his masterpiecing!) Here’s a photo from a Flickr user taken in 2007:

Rihanna falcon tattoo original Egyptian artifact at the Met Museum

And here they are side by side:

Was Rihanna's falcon ankle tattoo inspired by a 2300 year old Egyptian artifact

I’d say the chances are pretty darned good that Rihanna’s Egyptian falcon tattoo was inspired by this particular piece! (The similarity to a handgun appears to be mere coincidence, unless there is something to that Stargate movie after all.) Here are some more details about the original piece of Egyptian art:

Lanner falcon with variegated faience inlay
Ptolemaic Period
Dynasty 30
ca. 380-342 B.C.

See, reading pop culture blogs can be educational! This makes me a little more curious about Rihanna’s other 16 tattoos