Tribal Tattoo Pictures and Meanings
For the most part, tribal tattoos are derived from ancient tribal art. In many cultures, getting tattooed was (and still is) a rite of passage.
Modern tribal tattoos are based on ancient designs. Some of the cultures of origin are Borneo, Aztec cultures, India, Hawaii, Maori people of New Zealand, Samoa, and Polynesia. These cultures use their art to depict rites of passage, social status, and family identification. Some tattoos are even used for medicinal purposes. Each culture has their own techniques and special designs, but most tribal tattoos are solid black. Some artists do incorporate various shades and colors to break up the design.
Types of Tribal Tattoos
- Borneon: This is the most popular form of tribal tattooing, though most Borneon tattoos are copied from those of the Kayan Kenyah and Bakatan tribes. These tattoos hold up well over time. They have bold black lines and simple coloring. They are less prone to fading and blurring when compared to other styles.
- Hawaiian: Hawaiian traditional tattoos from before Western colonial influence feature a lot of geometric elements and are primarily black. Most common images are flowers, palm trees, the sun, stars, and ocean waves.
- Maori: The aboriginal people of New Zealand once created some of the most unique tattoos in the world. Their style evolved from facial tattoos and are still today a sacred form of family and personal identification. They tell the story of a person's family, achievements, and skills.
Choosing a Tribal Tattoo
Tribal tattoos are a popular choice for first tattoos. They're simple to design and most tattoo artists have made at least one in his or her carreer. Because they are usually inked only in black, they tend to hold up well with age and wear. At the same time, for the same reason they are difficult to remove and cover, especially if they include thicker lines and larger designs.