Tribal tattoos or, if we say it different way, ethnic tattoos are today very popular mostly because their aesthetic appeal, although for many centuries different tribal tattoo designs they were applied to human body first of all to symbolize the place in tribe, spiritual things, social status and age of their applicant.
Although ancient tribal tattoo designs of Maori are undoubtedly the most often ordered, in the modern body-art for creation of unique and meaningful tattoos tribal tattoos from all over the world are widely used, most of which look very charming. The symbolism of such tribal tattoo designs may vary greatly depending on the culture of certain tribe and on choice of symbols themselves and their combinations.
Maori tribe tattoos often consist from simple constructions, that are gathered to big and well thought images. According Maori traditions their tribal tattoos were not the same from person to person, and nevertheless they all contain common elements that are uniting them into one style. For example, most of their tribal tattoos include some spiral ornaments that wrap around legs or arms, go to the back, stomach or neck. They do not lose their actuality even today, but very often in tribal tattoo designs different non-traditional elements, pictures and symbols are added to traditional ones. Most of such tribal tattoos are made in black or grey but lately tribal tattoo designs of Maori style are made with the use of vivid colors, such as red or blue.
Lately many people choose for themselves tribal tattoos that are based on designs developed from the Borneo and Polynesia Islands and they even don’t know anything about it. Tribal tattoos of Borneo Islands are usually fat and flat black images of anything – this is the main trait of the tribal tattoo design. There can be depicted the images of animals and plants or the symbols of achievements, protection and identity and so on. Tribes from Marchisian Islands of Polynesia brought to the tribal tattoos different ornaments based on geometry, and such things are often mixed with symbols and pictures. It is very original and effective.
The heritage of Celtic tribes and Hoida tribes represents picturesque tribal tattoos that can be very easily adopted to the needs of modern tattoos. Haida tribal tattoos are depicted usually in two colors – red and black and consist of the lines of different thickness the combination of which are comprising the image of mythical creature or astrological mascot, plant or animal. Most of all it can be bears, eagles, sun or stars. Tribal tattoo designs of Celtic tribes usually consist of thin dark lines spiraled in different ornaments. These ornaments can form meaningful objects – crosses, shields, trees and animals and so on. However, it is good to admit that today Celtic motifs are often used for creation of simple and appealing tribal tattoos.
Tattoo artists began to apply tribal tattoo designs in the beginning of the 21st century.
Such tattoos have ancient history and are known for many centuries. Polynesian tribal tattoos that are very popular among the citizens living on the isles of the Pacific Ocean, are considered sacred. This is a long-lasting traditions, and such tribal tattoos could be worn only by priests.
Artist that were fulfilling tribal tattoos were honored with expensive presents. For application of the tribal tattoo designs sharp fish bones, sharp shark teeth were used.
Tribal tattoos could be only worn by chiefs of tribes and their relatives. For this several different body parts were used – face and the area from knees to waist.