70 Best Tribal Tattoo Designs and Ideas for Men and Women

Tribal tattoos are among the oldest body art styles in the world and their symbolism isn’t to be taken lightly. They are traditionally used by aesthetic, spiritual beliefs, or ritual. However, the designs may vary depending on the nature of the representations and colors. Today, we will see different tribal tattoo designs, the history behind them and their true meanings.

Tribal Tattoo
@inkmate23
Tribal Tattoo
@bw_art23
Tribal Tattoo
@black_addicts

History of tribal tattoos

Tattoos with a tribal sign are based on traditional designs of tribes of different Pacific islands, Native Americans and Maoris in New Zealand. They are characterized by abstract designs, usually made of black lines. These tattoos have been designed to focus on the muscles and the natural lines of the body. They are popular because of the artistic beauty that characterizes them, and fine lines that represent their contours.

Tribal Tattoo
@lynzyktattoo
Tribal Tattoo
@tattoo_wew
Tribal Tattoo
@uncleta2

Meaning of tribal tattoos

The symbolism of tribal tattoo reveals that the triangles are the representation of visible and invisible worlds. The point refers to the unit, the circle to the union, and the curves to positive or negative changes. These tattoos were practiced by both men and women, to adorn and beautify the body and express their personality. They have been used to identify people to their origins and their religious beliefs.

Tribal Tattoo
@juniortat2
Tribal Tattoo
@carloaemos
Tribal Tattoo
@stattoos_tatuagens

Overall, tribal tattoos carry special meaning that may be relevant to a particular tribe.

Tribal tattoo designs

Tribal tattoo is a very common design that you have probably seen on many skins. These tattoos have shapes based on abstract and black lines. The shapes are made from solid and large shadows. The forms are diverse and their origins refer to primitive cultures.

Tribal tattoo design
@loudinktattoo
Tribal tattoo design
@dropzone_ink
Tribal tattoo design
@francescoblackbindu

Tribal tattoos can be placed anywhere you want. Men may prefer a tribal design on the upper back while women prefer the lower back, easier to hide if necessary. Men usually got tribal tattoos on their arms, as a particular bracelets, but also on their legs and on their backs. Women have been quickly attracted by this tattoo designs and have chosen to get them on their wrists, arms, or ankles.

Tribal tattoo design
@fangmst
Tribal tattoo design
@gellystatoo_senhor_geleia
Tribal tattoo design
@slinetattoo
Tribal tattoo design
@ink_innovations
Tribal tattoo design
@danniebaisa

In the following list, you’ll have an eye on the different types of tribal designs and the most popular ones. Take a careful look in order to make the best choice lately.

Tribal tattoo design
@stefanbunja
Tribal tattoo design
@gypsyeyestattoo
Tribal tattoo design
@youngish_tattooist
Tribal tattoo design
@vika_nk93
Tribal tattoo design
@johnboystattoos

Samoan tattoos

We can say that this Samoa designs may be the most popular style having a wide variety. Samoa men and women have set multiple designs, in which Pe’a symbols (for men) are large and more intriguing than the female tattoo called Malu. The pe’a tattoo is typically inked on the lower body and are used as a protection against wild animals on the land and sea. Also, the Marquesans crosses, ocean waves and sun rays are among the most popular Samoa tattoos.

Samoan tattoo

Samoan tattoo

Samoan tattoo

Samoan tattoo

Samoan tattoo

Maori tattoos

Maori tattoos have become almost synonymous with head tattoos, as a sacred part of the body according to their belief. Head tattoo is a style that symbolizes social status, prestige, and rank; a rite of passage that is given to privileged people. There’re Maori tattoos for all tastes and desires, such as Ora, Pikorua, Te Timatanga, Nga Hau E Wha, Koru, matau Hei, hei tiki, twists, manaia, and more.

Maori tattoo

Maori tattoo

Maori tattoo

Maori Tattoo

Maori tattoo

Celtic crosses tattoos

Celtic tribal designs were commonly chosen by religious people, and are characterized by their cross and knots. A deeper religious influence can also be seen in some Celtic tattoos, such as those drawn with a pair of angel wings. You can also find other designs, such as birds and trees representing the ancient Celtic culture.

Celtic crosses tattoo

Celtic crosses tattoo

Celtic crosses tattoo

Celtic crosses tattoo

Celtic crosses tattoo

Iban tribal tattoos

Iban tattoos designs are among the most popular tribal designs and are always charged with spiritual energy. All these floral designs are common among Dayak-Iban people. Usually, they are drawn large and colored in black. In fact, making a large Iban tattoo can take eight hours, which is WOW!

Iban tribal tattoo

Iban tribal tattoo

Iban tribal tattoo

Iban tribal tattoo

Iban tribal tattoo

Mayan tribal tattoos

Maya civilization is known particularly for his designs of demons, wild animals, and ghosts that were etched into the walls of the pyramids and on the skin of Maya people. The ancient Mayan calendar is also a known design, which has become very popular around the 2012 due to the Mayan prediction of the end of the world.

Mayan tribal tattoo

Mayan tribal tattoo

Mayan tribal tattoo

Mayan tribal tattoo

Mayan tribal tattoo

Aztec tribal tattoos

Aztec tattoos were spiritually inspired by their social status and war achievements. For example, the warriors of the tribes carries a Tezcatlipoca image to protect them. Other Aztec gods like Quetzalcoatl and Huitzilopochtli were also worn by the tribesmen.

Aztec tribal tattoo

Aztec tribal tattoo

Aztec tribal tattoo

Aztec tribal tattoo

Aztec tribal tattoo

Eye of Horus tattoos

As you have already heard, Eye of Horus protects its owner from evil spirits. It’s popularly known as a symbol of protection for the ancient Egyptians. They painted the symbol on various objects and even on their body. This symbol is also known as the eye of Ra, and the Eye of the Moon.

Eye of Horus tattoo

Eye of Horus tattoo

Eye of Horus tattoo

Eye of Horus tattoo

Eye of Horus tattoo

Small tribal tattoos

Small tribal tattoos will be good on the fingers, the wrist, or on the side of the hand. The feet and hands are also good options for those who want to get small but non-discreet tattoos.

Small tribal tattoo

Small tribal tattoo

Small tribal tattoo

Small tribal tattoo

Small tribal tattoo

Modern tribal tattoos

Most people getting a modern tribal tattoo are men. Several designs dominate the list of the most popular modern tattoos, just like phoenix tattoos and spider tattoos. Often tattooed by athletes or gyms, modern tribal designs have a masculine look with their black and large lines. They are perfectly highlighting the muscles in the body.

Modern tribal tattoo

Modern tribal tattoo

Modern tribal tattoo

Modern tribal tattoo

Modern tribal tattoo

Celebrities with tribal tattoos

With such popularity, It is not unusual to see a celebrity with one or more tribal tattoo. In the sport world, we have all see the famous tribal tattoo on the face of Mike Tyson. Or even the tribal tattoo of Eminem, the Rock or Jamie Foxx. Famous men are not the only ones attracted by tribal tattoos. Women have been also charmed by these tribal tattoo, like the actress Angelina Jolie.

Celebrity tribal tattoo

Celebrity tribal tattoo

Celebrity tribal tattoo

Getting tribal tattoos should not be an easy choice for its cultural representation. So, before choosing a tribal tattoo design for your body, you should at least feel comfortable with and be proud to wear it.