Like almost everything ancient, tribal tattoos have become more and more popular in today’s society. There is something about the slight mystery behind the bold strokes that intrigues people. Their strong and intricate appearance is often appealing even to people who are not so fond of tattoos. The thing about tribal tattoos is that they have varied meanings and histories depending on their individual origins. 

Today, the most popular tribal tattoos adapt styles from ancient communities such as the Aztecs, Indians, Egyptians, Samoans, Mayans, Polynesians and Maoris. In these communities, various tattoos were used as symbols of spiritual or religious belief, identification of social status, and various achievements in combat among others. In the Maori tribe for instance, facial tattoos used to represent a person’s inner strength.

They believed that when a person died, their spirit would shine through their facial tattoos illuminating who they were. In the Indian tribe called Haida, however, their style of tribal tattoos is very similar to animals like bears, beavers and fish thunder birds. This was mainly because they believed that having a tattoo of a certain animal gave you part of that animal’s strength. In Polynesia, some tribes regarded their tattoos as messages, shark teeth symbolized protection, shells meant wealth and so forth. 

Most tribal tattoos have a deep meaning to the members of that particular tribe, whereas some tribes just used their tribal tattoos as a symbol of beauty. It is therefore up to the person intending to get the tattoo to take the time and find out what their tattoo of choice means to the tribe from whence it came. It is only polite and shows respect for the tribe you are honoring. That and some tribal tattoos have deep and very dark secrets that are best left alone! It pays to investigate the meaning before adorning it.

Tribal Tattoo Designs Gallery

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