What is a tribal tattoo: features and meaning

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What is a tribal tattoo: features and meaning
What is a tribal tattoo: features and meaning

Video: What is a tribal tattoo: features and meaning

Video: What is a tribal tattoo: features and meaning
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What is a tribal - not everyone knows, because the tattoo culture is still developing in Russian-speaking countries. However, this style is one of the most popular. Any master who is seriously involved in this industry takes a lot of orders in the tribal style. This trend has become famous thanks to original sketches and bright effects.

What is tribal

This tattoo style originated in the Samoan archipelago, which is located in Polynesia. The word "tribal" itself can be translated as nominal, generic, tribal.

tribal style
tribal style

Earlier, such tattoos were used to convey spiritual meaning through visual images. Tattooing was accompanied by the prayers of the priests and was a sacred ritual. As a result, a person received a talisman in the form of a specific image, which was supposed to protect him.

This style of tattoo was brought to Europe by sailors who visited Polynesia. And he quickly gained popularity among residents of European countries.

Tribal nowadays

Now this style is actively usedtattoo lovers all over the world. On average, about a third of the orders performed by masters are tribal tattoos.

This style is distinguished by its versatility. For this reason, originally a masculine format, over time it has become commonly used by women.

In the early 80s, when the old art and creativity trends were enriched with bold creative elements, the New Tribal style appeared. What is an ancient Polynesian tattoo, and how it should look in the modern world, different masters understood in their own way. For this reason, tattoos were constantly supplemented with various new details, patterns and images. The process of change has not stopped and is still ongoing.

Style Features

If you understand what a tribal is in its classic form, you will notice that the elements of this original direction have clear, precise patterns. The color scheme is simple - black and white, while the composition has many lines with carefully drawn contours.

tribal tattoo
tribal tattoo

But the current style of tribal includes many other elements, including unusual 3-D effects. Such drawings look voluminous. A similar result is achieved through the use of certain slopes and shadows. Such tattoos have become popular because of their spectacular look.

Tribal makes it special and the fact that it is used for visual correction of the figure, hiding imperfections and making it more attractive. A good master can apply patterns, thanks to which the waist of the tattoo wearer will seem thinner to others. Ormen's hands will look more massive, strong. In a word, the effects can be very different - it all depends on the wishes of the customer.

This style allows you to hide old or unsuccessful tattoos that the customer wants to get rid of. Due to the dense black color, the new pattern will easily overlap the elements of the previous one.


Not fully understanding what a tribal is, some people perceive such tattoos as one of the types of creativity, nothing more.

The eagle is a symbol of greatness and strength
The eagle is a symbol of greatness and strength

But each of the many images: scorpions, butterflies, flowers, skulls, dragons, etc., carries a deep meaning. Images of animals, in principle, occupy one of the main parts in the tribal culture.

Here are some popular characters:

  • Eagle. Such a picture means greatness and strength. Most suitable for men, although, if desired, you can get a good female version. The eagle will become a symbol of maternal wisdom and care.
  • Bear. This image personifies power, power, as well as rebirth - the beginning of a new life path. They depict both ferocious animals with the emotion of rage, and wise, kind ones. If the tattoo is applied to a girl, then in most cases the sketch includes an image of a female with a teddy bear. This image embodies maternal devotion and love.
  • Cat. This pattern is used as a symbol of beauty, independence and elegance.
  • Snake. This tattoo is ordered mainly by women. It symbolizes the intuition and wisdom of the girl. The most popular places for such an image are the hand,shoulder and ankle.
  • Butterfly. Another tattoo meant only for women. In this case, symbols such as a new direction in life, freedom and beauty are combined.
  • Feather. The key association is creativity and wisdom.

According to a long tradition, the animal depicted in the tattoo conveys its strengths to the bearer of the image and even establishes a spiritual connection with him.

tribal tattoo designs
tribal tattoo designs

Other options: skull, flowers, weapons, etc. are also used, but less frequently. Although the situation may vary depending on the region.


Templates within this direction are often left aside. In most cases, a separate tribal sketch is created for the client. Here, both the preferences of the customer and the features of his body play a role.

It also matters what kind of idea the client wants to emphasize with the help of a tribal tattoo. Sketches can be a visual embodiment of individual facets of a particular person's philosophy of life.

tribal what is
tribal what is

Despite the fact that for many years tribal tattoos have been associated with black and white, now more and more people are ordering color designs, incorporating elements of other cultures in them.

Such a direction as tribal is constantly evolving, going far beyond the boundaries of classical images. New masters come to the industry, embodying their vision of this direction of tattoo art.


Tribal style tattoos are a lot of images and options for their execution. People with completely different tasteswill be able to find a suitable option for themselves - from strict black and white to bright, with less harsh creative elements. There are many female and male sketches. In addition, professional craftsmen develop a pattern separately for each client.