The term tribal tattoo has its origins in Maori and Polynesian tribal culture where warriors would show status and bravery with a facial design or Moko. Thought to have originated in Fiji and Samoa several thousand years ago, they have been worn as symbols of rank, authority and virility throughout the many islands of Polynesia and the Pacific Ocean. These traditional designs were steeped in meaning based on area of the body and shapes used. Today the heavy black, aggressive lines of the traditional tribal tattoo have been taken to stylized extremes but whilst a Maori warrior wouldn’t be seen dead with an intricate pattern with a delicate floral center piece the inspiration comes from his heritage.
Tribal tattoos make a powerful statement, tribal as a tattoo design is very popular and has many variations. Tribal tattoos can be abstract designs or they can be tribal in the shape of popular tattoo design elements such as a tribal heart tattoo, tribal butterfly tattoo, black tribal cross tattoos, tribal armband tattoos to name a few. The tribal tattoo design is also popular when combined with dragon tattoos or tribal flames to make a truly unique tribal tattoo design.
Tribal tattoos in our gallery can be customized by your tattoo artist. Tribal tattoos that work best are usually tweaked or re-worked to fit the shape and muscle flow of your individual body.
lthough tattoos have been around for a very long time, they are now more popular than ever with around one in seven people in America having one or more.
People get tattooed for all kinds of reasons. It may be purely cosmetic, it could be for reasons of faith, or in some cases out of superstition – but perhaps the most common reason is to show your allegiance to a particular group, sort of as a way of confirming your identity.Animals are commonly tattooed the practical reasons: a tattooed identification helps to secure the safety of fine horses and show animals and helps to prevent theft and fraud. In some cases tattooing is done on certain areas (like the nose) in order to help prevent sunburn. Tattooing of this type is carried out by vets and is done under anesthetic.Tribal tattoos are especially popular although for the most part methods have changed drastically. Some tribes still create their tribal tattoos in the traditional way, with designs being cut into the skin and the wound treated with ink or ash or other compounds. Alternatively the tattoo may be introduced to the skinusing sharp sticks or bones – Japanese tattoos still use a similar method in that the ink introduced to the skin manually using bamboo or steel needles.
In the Western world tattooing is generally done using an electric tattoo machine. Fine needles move up and down rapidly pushing ink into the skin – this can be a painful process but it depends on a variety of factors including the location of the tattoo.Tribal tattoos originate from a variety of places. They are influenced by Maori tattoos, Chinese tattoos, Japanese tattoos and Hawaiian tattoos to name but a few. With the growth in interest in tribal cultures so tribal tattoos have spread across the world. But this can cause some problems because these original tribal tattoos were an important part of tribal identity and had distinct meanings. As the Western world borrows from tribal culture in an effort to find meaning and identity in an increasingly disposable and commercial environment there is the danger that we disrespect and trivialise their tribal traditions.It is because of this that if you’re thinking of getting a tribal tattoo, you should think carefully about the design and its history and meaning – you wouldn’t want your body art to cause offence and you can certainly expect that the design will be with you for a very long time. Make sure you visit an artist who understands the importance of the work they do and has researched their subject carefully.
And this leads me to another point. Tattoos are not supposed to be temporary. So many people have the name of their wife or husband tattooed upon their body while they are very much in love – tattoos have a habit of outlasting relationships. Girlfriends may come and go but the tattoo stays with you. Similarly think twice before getting a design associated with a passing fashion – it may seem all the rage now but in 10 years it may look stupid.