Tribal Tattoos Styles: All You Need to Know About Them

tribal tattoos

Antiquity reveals the importance of tribal tattoos. These tattoos are rarely found. Most of the tribal tattoos are found on the body of tribal people. Apart from them, people who are more into adventures and traveling also love these tattoos because they are found in areas where tribal people live. 

If you are interested in getting one of them, then the following article is meant for you. From the meanings to their designs, you will get to know each and everything about Tribal Tattoos.

Meaning of Tribal Tattoos

Tribal tattoos depict the tribe of the person. They are unique and eye-catching. Tribal tattoos have long going histories. Many of the modern tattoos are derived from tribal culture. Sacrificing and tattooing both were extremely important in the earlier era. 

Tribal tattoos are unique tattoo ideas and have great significance in the cultures of human society in earlier history. But still, some people want to get this tattoo apart from just their cultural meaning. So here are the meanings of these tattoos.

  • War – Many of the earlier tribes used to create tattoos depicting their victories over the other ones. It was their method of celebrating victories in the battle. Proving them as warriors.
  • Ancestor Worship – We often get attached to the people whom we find as heroes in our life. Ancestors of a community have such heroes, and people get tattoos of such styles and designs depicting their ancestral hero. 
  • Health – In earlier times, medicines were natural, and people used to prefer god over medicines for Pandemics and diseases. Some of the tattoos are health-related, which helps in fighting an illness or a serious disease.
  • Sympathetic Magic – In earlier times, animals were found to be magical souls. Carrying immense power and energy. Some of the tribes have even saved some of their special animals. People used to get tribal tattoos depicting the animals. It empowers them with the essence and spirit of that animal. 
  • Spirituality – Spiritual powers were sometimes the key reason behind these tattoos. People exclaim that these tattoos provide them the positive energy to fight against evil spirits. 
  • Initiation Rituals – Some tribes symbolize the tattoos as the sign of girls’ transformation into their adulthood. 

The Need for Getting a Tribal Tattoo

Well, the reason behind getting a tribal tattoo is essential to know. The monochromatic look of these tattoos makes them good for getting inked. They are inked with black or dark blue color. At the same time, the tribal design tattoos vary in thousands. Their inking on a larger area of the body makes them more eye-catching and attractive.

Not only esthetic, but these tattoos also display the cultural significance of a person. We can also say that these tattoos’ cultural significance is the X-factor behind their attractive look. If you belong to a culture where tattoos were practiced in past days, or we can say in the tribes, then a tribal tattoo looks more special, definite, and answerable. 

If you are a true WWE fan, then you might have seen “The Rock” or Dwayne Johnson. He is a proud Samoan man, and he reveals that thing by the tattoo on his chest. His tattoo has depicted the culture he belongs to. We can also say that this tattoo saves the pride of his tribe. The tribal forearm tattoo is also quite famous for its classic looking. 

Tribal tattoos are not limited to their cultural significance. They might carry a philosophical sense behind their design. 

Types of Tribal Tattoos

The tattoo artist who doesn’t understand the tribal tattoos’ significance can never draw a tribal tattoo with perfection. In earlier days, people used to get inked with the help of sticks. Modern technologies and culture have brought some easy tools which help a person in getting inked. 

Whether we talk about the tribal tattoos for men or about the tribal tattoos for women, following tattoos will attract the sight of both the genders.

Some of the most significant tribal tattoos are as follows:


People natively born in Hawaii love to get tattooed. Hawaiian tribal people have created Hawaiian tribal tattoos. These tribal tattoos depict the culture of Hawaii. Namely the sky, sea, and spirit.

Commonly they used to get the design of sea turtles, the sun, palm trees, stars, and the sea in the form of tattoos, which are a part of the Hawaiian culture. Black ink is mainly used for tribal tattoos. 

Tribal tattoo arms are also common in hawaiian culture.


The New Zealand country carries the Maori culture. These tribal tattoos are quite famous for their geometrical shapes and swirling lines. Which further forms organic ornamentation. Storytelling via these tattoos is extremely deep and touchy to the people of their own culture. 

These tattoos depict the story of people, their families, their achievements, and their skills.

They are quite famous for their facial designs, but that doesn’t mean that all of the Maori tattoos are for the faces. Shoulders, chest, and arms are also common places where they find a quiet, comfortable, and attractive place for themselves. 


African tribal tattoos are one of the most popular and well known tribal tattoos in the world. They are extremely bold and include shading. When we talk about tattoos, some of the tribal tattoos are darker but not clear, but when we talk about African tribal tattoos, they are different from others. They are dark, shaded, and clear. 

Their appealing nature attracts everyone who sees them. They depict the strength, struggle, courage, and ethics of the African culture. Bravery and personal strength are the key features of African tribal people.

People also get inked with African tribal shoulder tattoos.

South American Tattoos

The Amazonian rainforest is the largest forest in the world. Tribal people living in the areas have extensively practiced tattoo art. Kayabi tattoo masters of Brazil are still practicing the ancient inking. The tattoo of a jaguar in kayabi depicts the power and spirit of the animal. 

Not only jaguar, but there are many other animals too which the south American art of tattoo design inks. These animals were important in the war tattoo. Their death in war can never get in vain as per the South American tribal people. 

Tribal wolf tattoos are also quite famous in South America. Tribal sleeve tattoos are also quite famous in these tribes.

Jaguar is popular even in the modern era. Thus, the South American tattoo art has given a lot to the modern tattoo era.


Celtic warriors are extremely well known for their bravery on the battlefield. They used to be blue on the battlefield. No, it was not the color of their blood, but it was their uniform color. They are also important to tattoo artists of the modern era because of their tribal tattoo designs. 

It used to carry swirly lines, crisscrossing geometry, complex shading, and decorative styles, making it extremely innovative and creative. 

A Celtic tribal dragon tattoo is also quite famous for its unique design and strength.

Many of the tattoo studios have different catalogs of Celtic designs, which proves how important this tribal tattoo is. 


Indian culture and mythology are popular all over the globe. Whether we talk about lord Ganesha or their father, lord shiva, both of them are highly worshipped all over the globe. Lord Krishna is famous for his beauty and childishness. 

Indian tattoos depict the mythological facts, mantras, gods, and Hindu pantheon. They are very similar in the display to the African tattoos. There is a wide range of designs and colors of Indian tattoos. It is the reason which makes them one of the most unique, special, and eye-catching tribal tattoos in the world. 

They look extremely attractive to the large area of the body. Such as the back, arms, chest, and shoulders. 


You might have noticed some of the very serious tattoos on the body of some of the actors in the Mexican movies. That art of seriousness is a part of the Mexican tribal tattoos. 

Skulls, ziggurats, temples, hands, tongues, or some ancient gods’ images are some shapes constituted in this art. 

There is an extreme level of creativity and independence in the Mexican tribal tattoo art. 


Sea and islands, Yes, this is the specialty of the Polynesian tattoo art. Having over 1000 islands, Polynesia is known to be one of the most famous places for islands. Samoan tattoos are also a part of Polynesian tribal tattoos, but they are effectively marked in different styles. 

They use black ink, which provides a different and astonishing look to the tattoo. Their style of leaving plenty of negative spaces between tattoo art is just outstanding. Their geometric shapes are widely known all over the globe. You might find them somehow similar to the African and Hawaiian tribal tattoos, but let me tell you that they are seriously different and unique in their way. On the other hand, filipino tribal tattoos are well known for their pride and bravery.

Final Words

Tribal tattoos are extremely deep in meaning and have vast importance all over the globe. Getting a tribal tattoo is a matter of pride and achievement. Tribal tattoos are the coolest and easiest and coolest way to depict your culture. 

You can also go for a tribal lion tattoo, which depicts bravery and leadership. I hope you liked this article on tribal tattoos. If you think of getting one, then don’t give it a second thought until and unless you have plans where such art is restricted. And don’t forget to write your review in the comment section.