Tribal tattoos make up at least one third of all tattoo designs worn be individuals. There is a vast amount of reasons a person might choose to adorn themselves with tribal tattoos. Symbolization varies by origin of the design. Whether the tattoo is worn for graphic design or personal reasons, tribal tattoos are definitely one of the most popular tattoos around.
While tribal symbols vary, reasons for tattooing were generally the same among each ranging from marriage, rite of passage, animals represented by the totem, spiritual and even magical. Certain tribes tattooed as a means of family standards. Family lineage could be traced among the exquisite and unique design of the tattoo that an individual wore across their face whereas many tattoos were given to represent puberty.
There are various types of tribes existing from Native American which usually represents culture, ritualistic beliefs, spirits and nature to Polynesian which symbolize tradition, values, legends, and values of religious aspect. Hawaiian tribal symbols can be worn as identification, protection or mourning and Maori can be used for courage and usually consist of elaborate curves and distinct shapes.
Animals can be used as a large number of symbolization among tribal tattoos. These meanings of course vary by which animal you choose. For example, a bear represents good nature or luck. The butterfly symbolizes spiritual immortality. The Eagle is a sign of might and spiritual growth whereas the feather shows creativity and rebirth.
Most tribal tattoos are done in black and should be colored evenly which can be very challenging. Attentiveness is needed when designing tribal tattoos with their swinging arcs and curves.
Tribal tattoos were given to people of a tribe in order to either represent or reveal certain aspects about a person. A woman who couldn’t bear the pain of a tattoo was also shunned with the thought that she would not be able to handle the pain of childbirth. The tribe or type of tattoo you get can also hold significance when choosing a location to place the tattoo on your body. Maori were commonly known for their facial tribal tattoos. Now people are found with tattoos of varying types and sizes on their legs, ankles, shoulder blades, lower backs, upper backs and more. Just about anywhere that there is skin, a tattoo can be placed.
Passages of rite tattoos were marked upon a member of the tribe once they hit puberty. A person was not accepted as an adult until they bore these markings upon their body. It seems this tradition still holds true today as many adolescents celebrate their eighteenth birthday by having someone tattoo a part of their body as if to say they are now an adult.
Another tradition that seems to remain unbroken is identity tattoos. Many tribes were able to identify one another by the types of tattoos that each one wore. Today, many cultures and groups will bear similar tattoos in order to identify each other. This is also a common practice among many gangs symbolizing who they are and who they represent.
Whatever the reason a person might have to get tribal tattoos, the history is in the ink. The next time you choose to tattoo yourself, you might find that you have more of a story to tell about your symbol than what you may have realized in the first place.