Tribal tattoos are extremely popular, but the truth is that the term covers a wide range of designs. Their origins, as the name suggests, can be seen in artwork and tattoos of tribes from the past. However, nowadays tribal tats have taken on their own distinctive look in the Western world.
Defining Characteristics of Tribal Tattoos
Tribal designs are generally bold, black lines that are formed in a number of different abstract shapes. They are made of various symbols depending on the tastes of the wearer, and some symbols may carry a deeper spiritual meaning than others. But there are no rules – tribal tats may also be colored or feature detailed shading: they’re no longer limited to black.
Types of Tribal Tat Designs
Aside from the more modern designs described above, you may also see the following types of design:
Celtic Tattoos: Celtic tattoo designs may be considered tribal in their own right, though many of the traditional bold tribal tattoos are now incorporating elements of Celtic artwork, such as detailed knots.
Historic Tribal Designs: Modern tribal designs may have their history in real life tribes of the past, but the artwork has certainly changed. Historic tribal tat designs will actually be based on a specific tribe, such as the Aztec or Maori people. These may look completely different from the tribal tattoos of today. Many people choose these kind of tattoos to represent a close bond they may share with that particular tribe.
Other Images: In themselves, tribal designs are abstract. However, they are now being used as a creative way to fill in the body of more recognizable images, such as those of animals, stars and so on.
The truth is that inspiration for tribal tattoos can come from anywhere. Whether you want to show off your cultural roots by replicating a type of tribal tat from the past, or simply prefer the bold statement that a modern tribal designs can make, more and more tattoo artists are now specializing in this kind of tattoo design.