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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.