120 Fantastic Tribal Tattoos Designs With Meanings And Facts

Tribal tattoos- tattoos that have been famous for centuries. People inked these amazing arts years before and still do so. Tribal tattoos, as their name suggests, were tattoos worn by the ancient people to showcase loyalty to their tribes. It was also a symbol of masculinity and strength. For, tattoos, in the previous times, were not something that simple to get. There weren’t any modern types of equipment, and people generally used blades or other weapons to make a tattoo. And in some cultures, the women also had to get specific tattoos, and they were almost mandatory. The first time a person wore a tribal tattoo- many believe that was in the Bronze Age.

tribal tattoos

Time passed- like it always does, and the styles of these tattoos as well. But, these pieces have ever remained popular, and still, many men and women prefer this style of tattoo arts. Nowadays, there are many styles available for these tattoos. First, people were only allowed to have tattoos of their tribes- well that was the purpose of their tribal tattoos-to be known their tribes. But, things definitely have changed in today’s time. We have got a variety of choices and options- that means we could tattoo the design of our choice- from any tribes we want. And also, designs have been revamped, modified and increased. That means, we have got a variety of styles to choose from.

And another thing is the tribal tattoos meaning. You know, the beauty of these tattoos- that is that they go along with any other style or object. From a tribal Disney tattoo to a tribal wolf tattoo- the varieties and possibilities are endless and opportunities- boundless. Also, when we talk about these designs, there are different designs directed to women as well as men. Tribal tattoos for men and tribal tattoos for women- many designs have been engineered specifically.

So, well- if you are thinking of getting a tribal tattoo for yourself, then I will have to say I am glad that you have made a great choice. And, we know, like for everything else, you will need some help- especially when you are getting a tattoo for the first time. Well, we know that and like always, we are here to help you. To help you with the tribal tattoo designs and ideas, we have made a list of the best tribal tattoos that you could get in 2018. Do check some of these tattoos and then we will move on to some common types of this tattoo style.

Types Of Tribal Tattoos

Well, here, first what we have to know is that this term, “tribal tattoo”- it doesn’t represent anything specifically. Well, it’s like this thing stands for those types of tattoos designed by people from different tribes before our time. Those tribes could be from anywhere. So, we will have to say that there are no specific types of tribal tattoos. But, indeed, there are specific designs of them. That means people from various tribes- it is only natural that they used a different approach of manners to build their tattoos. That was dependent on what they saw and what they believed.


Polynesian Tribal Tattoo

Well, these tattoo style comes from the ancient Polynesian islands. These islands were from Southeast Asia. There used to be many indigenous tribes in these areas which first used tattoos- and every design of them is called a Polynesian tattoo. Many tribes used to be in this area, and we exactly don’t know which one first inked a tattoo. Anyway, there is enough evidence to believe that Tonga and Samoa- people in these places are responsible for developing this art to make it as it is now. And also one of the native American tribal tattoos, in the Hawaiian tribal tattoos- the traditional black and white ink incorporates the traditional style of the Polynesian tattoos with some modern elements. We have got an entire article dedicated to them.

Filipino Tribal Tattoo

The Filipino tribal tattoo- this tattoo is also another variation of the tribal style. Well, we definitely can’t be specific about its origin- but, all we can say is that these tattoos have been in existence for a millennium. Well, yes- for a thousand years. A tribal tattoo used to be almost mandatory for the ancient Filipinos. They were symbols for many things- a man’s bravery and loyalty to his tribe. Even, they also represented the social status of a man. People getting a tattoo- even at that time preferred to represent their own soul in their body art. Most of the Filipino tribal tattoos- they incorporated the elements of nature. People generally had their tattoo so that they represented their birthplace- the place where their heart had doped some part of itself. Anyway, nowadays, those pure traditional styles of this art is almost nowhere to be seen, and people incorporate them with some newer tattoo elements.


African Tribal Tattoo

The ancient people of Africa- they were masterminds of this craft. For a large number of years, tattoos were viewed as a method for restoring sickness, ensuring protection against spirits, indicating connection towards specific gatherings/clans, and reflecting identity characteristics. For example, courage and status of a person in the society. Tattoos were very important, and also the style was simple. Sometimes, a tattoo was only some dots, while sometimes they were two straight parallel lines. Anyway, not to mention, these tattoos still meant everything that we talked about. They have had a rich history as well, and people also have found some tattoos in mummies of the Pyramids.


Aztec Tribal Tattoo

Let us talk about another popular tribal tattoo. The Aztec Tribal tattoo. They were first inked by the ancient tribes in Aztec- that is the reason they even got this name. Well, if you are looking for some unique tribal tattoos, then this one could be an option for you. These tribal tattoos, somehow look different from any other tribal pieces. And also, many of the famous modern tattoo elements- they actually came from these pieces. For you know, the ultra-famous skull tattoo- many believe that it was the people in Aztec that first inked them. And like all the other ones, it can also be very easy to combine these sleek designs with any other tattoos, and that is why you could be very interested in them.


Modern Tribal Tattoos

So, here we come- the modern tribal tattoo – the tattoo you want to get. These arts combine all those elements of the ancient tribal tattoos so as to get one of your preferred styles. Nowadays, all that matters is a person’s interest- well, we don’t have tribes now, do we? Even in some cultures, the tattoo styles were limited to men only- and some were only for women. But now, the situation has definitely changed and it is not like how it used to be in history. Combining many styles of amazing tattoos into one- and getting your own meaning- that is what a tattoo is all about all about in today’s world. So, it should be of your interest that there should be a lot of variations of the styles in the tribal tattoo you are willing to get.

So, this is basically it for the types of these tattoos, and well, see some more designs to see more ideas of them.

Tribal Tattoos Meanings

Well, before we know about the tribal tattoo meanings, we will have to remember what we read earlier. A tribal tattoo isn’t a specific design, it is just a term denoting many other designs. So, what a tribal outline means is all dependent on what that particular tattoo has. That means, an element present in that tattoo.

So, here are some the most famous constituents of the tribal tattoos. That means some designs that have been given a lot of tribal touches.

Tribal Wolf Tattoo

Well, is one of the mainstream tattoo designs. This design represents the traits of a wolf. A wolf is a strong animal. It is independent. And also, cunning and smart. A wolf tribal tattoo can also be a symbolism for family and loyalty. For we know, that wolves live in a herd. And also, it is loyal to one partner- that means only one love interest for its life. Independence is also another important thing that the wolf tattoo stands for and don’t forget it’s hunting skills. Another thing is that in some cultures, the wolf could be a representation of a bad omen or bad luck, which is shown in their tribal tattoos.

Tribal Lion Tattoo

Lion- the king of the jungle. And lion tattoo- something that signifies this badass creature. This tattoo stands for pride and royalty. So, having a tribal lion tattoo means just that- you live and think like a king. You would not like anybody else making your decision and have a gift that makes the world follow your principles. Another thing that a tribal lion tattoo represents is bravery and strength. Lion truly is a strong animal. And, also brave. We have almost never heard of a lion backing off from any opponent. All in all, the tribal lion tattoo is definitely a good choice for you if you are looking forward to having one.


Tribal Dragon Tattoo

Dragon tattoo- the ancient Asian cultures have played an important role in bringing them into existence. And for a tribal dragon tattoo, it’s meaning actually varies from place to place. The dragon itself doesn’t stand for the same things in every culture. In some cultures, they represent strength and power. For, it is a fierce creature- breathing fire. Nothing could beat it and it would overpower any opponent it would be pitted against. But, in some other cultures, a dragon means bad luck and greediness. From many ancient tales, these mythical creatures once used to raid and steal from villagers. Destroying entire households and their places. And also, stealing from them. This creature was considered to be someone that used to love jewels and riches. And only the golds that it stole from people used to make up its treasure box.

Tribal Turtle Tattoo

Many people go for a tribal turtle tattoo. It also represents a lot of things. Emblematically, a turtle signifies long life, strength, dependability, richness, and creation. Well, we know that a turtle has a long lifespan. It lives more than any other creatures on planet Earth. And the way this thing carries it’s home on its own back, that is a pure art of the God. Notwithstanding being moderate in pace, this animal never surrenders which influences it to connote tirelessness, continuance, and devotion. We know that having made to carry home on it’s back, it has to be slow. Well, that’s there, but it is never tired- now, is it? People additionally view this tattoo design as a characteristic of good fortunes and direction.

Tribal Bear Tattoo

What do you think that a bear on your tattoo represents? Well, that all depends on what type of bear you have. I mean if you still don’t need to worry because there are only good things. First, let us talk about the brown grizzly bear. A grizzly bear represents strength, power and it’s amazing hunting skills. If you are a person who thinks you share these personalities with the grizzly bear, then that could be your way to go. On the other hand, a panda on you tribal bear tattoo is all about luck. It represents fortune and the one who get this is supposed to be lucky.

Tribal Sun Tattoo

Now, let us talk about this- the tribal sun tattoo. You have seen this element in quite a few tattoo designs, and you could be curious what it means. The symbolism of the Sun is exactly what it is- source life and energy. We won’t survive without sun- it gives us everything. The ancient tribes were never devoid of this knowledge. So, like everyone else, they used to value the Sun. For the people in those days were thankful- they showed respect to everyone who helped them, and this is what a tribal sun tattoo is all about. Sun gave people light- something that let people go out and hunt. Also, Sun gave people fire- and they knew that. So, they used to value the Sun as the God- like it is, and a tribal Sun tattoo- we can take it as a tribute given by the ancient people to our savior star.

Tribal Elephant Tattoo

So, you also have seen some Elephant tribal tattoos on our collection, haven’t you? And if you are interested, then it is good to know about its meaning as well. An elephant tattoo may symbolize and mean diverse things. As a rule, an elephant tattoo delineates success and good fortunes. But since of its part in nature, it likewise exemplifies control, quality, nobility, and lifespan. Beside those said, elephants additionally depict persistence, respect, knowledge, and otherworldliness. With these implications, elephant tattoos turned out to be more known as a result of its depiction of family ties and tribal lines. Well, so the symbolism of an elephant tattoo and it’s great designs are what make you want to get one of these. And if you are really interested, then you probably should take a look at our elephant tattoos as well.

All in one- a traditional tattoo depicts and carries the meaning of what element it has in it.

So, Now- you have seen a variety of ideas for your tribal tattoos and also know about their meaning, so take a look at some other designs as well. After this, we will talk about where we could place these tattoos.

Be Patient – Take a Look At All OF These Designs Carefully Before You Make A Decision.

Tribal Tattoos: Placement

Regarding tribal tattoos, originally, the placement used to be a direct rule, right now, it is all up to you. Anyway, here are some places you could get your designs on.  It lies all in your preference. The size also depends on yourself and some factors would be visibility, and how much pain you could withstand.

Tribal Neck Tattoos

If you want to make your tattoo visible to everyone, then you could choose to get it in your neck. But, you would need to be a little careful. The neck is a really sensitive part of our body. So, if your pain tolerance to a needle is not so good, you might need to reconsider this. I mean I am not trying to scare you away, but still, it is your first time. So, I would not want you to run off from any other tattoos only because you remember this slight pain. Anyway, to make a statement everywhere, you go, get a tribal tattoo on your neck.

Tribal Arm Tattoos Or Tribal Forearm Tattoos

Well, many people get their tribal tattoo on their wrists or arms, don’t they? In the axis of one’s wrist and their ankle, different patterns of these tattoos could accommodate in a very beautiful way. This would be a perfect fashion sense as there are various shoes or even bracelets and watches that look good in those areas of your body. These could be some reasons you see so many amazing designs in this area: from a tribal shoulder tattoo to those great tribal band tattoos and tribal armband tattoos. Also, don’t forget the tribal sleeve tattoos and tribal half sleeve tattoos. Tribal leg tattoos also could be a very good idea.

Tribal Chest Tattoos

You get a tribal chest tattoo if you want to hold a design closest to your heart. People do so with some intimate designs like the tribal cross tattoos. These tattoos are specifically meant only for your closest people to see them completely. Like to someone to whom you dedicate your tattoo for. Also, your tattoo, when seen from the side could make you look stunning. Roll it in your own style. Just make sure to select a great design with a meaning for yourself.

Tribal Tattoos On Back

Well, you have seen a lot of tribal back tattoos as well, haven’t you? I would say that your back could be another perfect place to put your tattoo on.  This could actually be dependent on your tattoo’s measure. If it is very large, then your back would be a perfect place where you could ink your tattoo. And also, for the people getting their first tattoo and really worried about some pain, maybe this is a good idea for them as well. Because we know, the pain tolerance of our back is little more than anything else. But just like any other placements, this choice is also entirely yours.


Well, there are also a lot of other factors on where you want to place your tattoo. For example, your clothing preference could also define where a tattoo on our body could perfectly sit. The choice is all up to yours and you need to talk to the tattoo artist himself regarding this matter. Just also don’t forget that you need to ask about the healing process as well. Also, make sure that you hire the best tattoo artist in your area. Tribal tattoos- they are not simple designs to be inked by anyone.

So, there you go- these were some great tribal tattoo designs that we gathered for you. Now, it is all up to you.

Well, tell me- what did you think about these designs? Did they seem to help you at all? Did you finally make your decision? If you did, then I am sincerely happy. You already know what you should be doing to get a great design, and also make sure to have your ideal traditional tattoo. And when someone asks you what is that you are proud of, Answer them – “tattoo traditional.” You already know what you could do to get a great design now, don’t you? And till whenever, have a blast.

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