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Tribal Tattoos

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Tattoos of an older indian womanTribal tattoos have been in vogue for quite a while now (since the early 1990s) and itís easy to see why, they just look good.

Advantages of getting a tribal tattoo

Disadvantages of tribal tattoos:

The tribal styles we see today originate from various old tribes like those from Borneo, the Haida, the Native Americans, the Celtic tribes, the Maori and other Polynesian tribes.

Tribal Tattoo DesignThe shapes and motifs of these tribal tattoos are deeply rooted in the tribe's mythology and view of the world. The traditional tattoo artist aims to reflect the social and religious values of the tribe in his tattoo designs. Recurring themes are the rituals of the tribe, the ancestors, the origins of the world and the relationship with the gods.

What are tattoos used for in tribal communities?

Back Tribal Tattoo

Traditional tattoo applicationModern tribal tattoos are generally speaking not strongly associated with any particular tribe and are usually stripped of their social meaning. Tribal tattoo art we see in the Western world today are often based on:

Luckily for today's tribal tattoo lovers, the methods used to apply the tattoos have changed. Bone needles and plant or animal dyes have been replaced by tattoo machines and the circumstances in which a tattoo artist today works are generally more hygienic than those of a tribal community. Some people though, want to go all the way and prefer to be tattooed using the traditional methods.

Traditional Tribal Tattoo Art

Here's an overview of tribes where tattoos played and play an important role in society:


Tribal Tattoo Designs

To a certain extent, tribal tattoos speak for themselves. It is a special feature of a tribal tattoo that even a relatively simple or unformed line or curve tends to look good, even just on its own.

In recent years, a style that we can call the New Tribal has emerged. Symbols that have nothing to do with the original tribal designs are combined with the typical lines, curves and interlocking formations of the traditional tribal tattoos. In the case of New Tribals, it is the decoration surrounding the central element that marks them as tribal. Here's an overview of tribal tattoo symbols or symbols that are often combined with tribal designs:

Other symbols that are used often in tribal tattoos:

  • Wolf
  • Star
  • Aztec tribals
  • Bird
  • Snake
  • Zodiac symbols
  • Spider
  • Eagle
  • Fish
  • Tree
  • Flower
  • Sea turtle
  • Wings
  • Frog
  • Cat
  • Hummingbird
  • Clover
  • Scorpion
  • Fire
  • Moon
  • Fox
  • Butterfly
  • Gecko
  • Skull

Feminine Tribal Tattoos

Female Tribal TattoosGenerally speaking, tribal tattoos have a masculine energy about them, given their bold, thick lines. At the same time, they are versatile and they tend to look very good on women as well. Maybe itís the appeal of the contrast.

Over the past few years though, some tribal tattoo designs have evolved that are characteristically feminine in nature. They have the same recognizable tribal patterns, but they tend to be smaller and more self contained. A good example might be the tribal butterfly tattoo, a popular choice for an ankle or shoulder tattoo. A larger version of the tribal butterfly can also look good on the lower back. Tribal rose tattoos are also popular in many of the same locations.

Celebrities With Tribal Tattoos

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