Tribal tattoos originate from ancient times and had deep meaning.
Nowadays they combine the style of origin tribes and modern features. From noting social status and religious believes tribal tattoo became individual artistic expression.
Tribal tattoos have very expressive, rich, passionate, and ferocious design.
Such type of body art dates back to over 5000 years ago.
It has the biggest variety of style because it depends on the diversity of different cultures and tribe’s traditions. Initially they were as attribute of identification for members of different races and cultures.
Some Interesting Facts from the History
As you have understood the word “tribal” deals with a lot of things in connection to some tribe, so the origin of such kind of tattoos is quite interesting.
In ancient time they were used:
- As an attribute of belonging to some tribe or social status;
- As an expression of religious believes;
- As a camouflage in the forest;
- As a treatment similar to acupuncture, but with leaving of sights on the body;
- As a way to communicate, for example, in Polynesia from which the word “tattoo” (originally as “tatau”) comes.
The Symbol Meaning
Such tattoos are known to mean courage, audacity, dynamics, and expressiveness.
As they are unique they reveal its bearer’s character and feelings.
According to its elements and sketch tribal tattoo could symbolize
- eternal life, etc.
For every tribe and culture tattoo was the way of showing connection or it was a reminder of some special event or phenomenon.
For ancient time Polynesia people were inspired by animals such as shark.
For example its teeth meant protection and shell symbolize wealth.
Peculiarities of Design
Such tattoos are highly symbolical and complicated, so it’s better to decide properly which design to choose.
- Mixed color.
More often it is made in black color, but a very few are mixed colored, for example sketch in red and black design is the most popular.
- Depiction of the sun,
- Celtic cross is the most popular.
- There is also the scheme of dragon,
- Zodiac thematic.
- Back design for men elements of which include Aztec culture with symbols of the sun and moon joined together.
Back design for women is less massive and includes more modernized elements.
- Turtle image.
Turtle is a symbol of strength, long life, and wisdom.
- Shoulder design for man and woman made up of different spirals and curves combined in complex design. Small components compose big design.
- Rib tattoos with long lines.
- Chest tattoos that looks like a t-shirt and have very complex design.
They are popular among men.
Nowadays it is common to mix thick black lines with thinner black ones.
They are combined in shape and forms not necessarily with tribal initial origin and meaning.
- Tribal sleeve
and half sleeve tattoos that cover the whole hand and even shoulder.
- Shoulder bold black cog piece with intricate flower shape below.
- Tribal design with flowers is a good idea for women and girls.
Types of Tribal Tattoos
Male version usually covered the whole man’s faces and female one covered only the area around the mouth and chin.
Maori believed when person die light will shine through him/her and only tattoo shows who the person is.
Nowadays such tattoos incorporate some modern features and usually are going across the chest.
Leg tattoos were also popular among Maori people.
They were used to cover warrior for instilling fear to their opponents.
They were influenced by astrology and also depicted animals, for example beavers,
It was believed that wearing such depiction you could take some power of that animal. In fact, such design is rather masculine one.
- Borneo tattoos of the tribe of Southeast Asia.
They were used to depict the symbol of protection as scorpions,
dogs in bold colors,
- Hawaiian tribal tattoos.
In ancient time men often covered their body from head to toe. Depicting Gecko was the most popular as a symbol of supernatural power.
They depicted also orchid,
Tiki (who was believed to be the first man on Earth), etc.
- Polynesian tattoos.
There is also Tiki who was a semi-god in Polynesian culture and symbolized protection.
Tiki’s organs as nose, eyes, mouth, and side faces commonly are draw separated.
Another sketch illustrates turtle shell,
and Marquesan cross.
Where to Place it?
Tribal tattoos are worn by men and women as well.
Such artistic design underlines body muscles and it looks outstanding on the man’s body.
Nevertheless it looks great on the woman’s body also.
There is some difference between men and women ways to place a tattoo. The most appropriate places for men are chest,
For women it is chin, lips,
What part of body to chose depends also on the size of a sketch. Size could be small, middle and large. However even the largest one is the combination of small lines, spirals, circles, etc. Such tattoo also could stretch from ears to legs.
Most Maori tattoos are done on arms.
Celebrities with tribal tattoos
As you can see tribal tattoos have deep symbolical meaning and huge variation. That’ why you should think twice before choosing design which is better for you. Such tattoos are also famous among celebrities as Mike Tyson,
and a lot of others.