Top 15 Tribal Tattoo Designs With Meaning

Tattoos have now evolved more as an expression of one’s personality and ideology rather than just being an art form. From small initials of person’s name to a full sleeve one, tattoos have now gained popularity not only among the hip teenagers but also people from upper-class society. If you’re one of those persons who feel that their tattoo should represent something, try these tribal tattoo designs with meaning. These tattoos represent various things and have roots in ancient tribes, such as Aztec and Maori, where each symbol represents strength, valour, longevity etc. Ready for the needle?

  1. Tribal sun-moon tattoo

The symbols of sun and moon are widely used in tribal tattoos. However, when used together, they give a seemingly different meaning. While the sun represents power and rebirth, the moon is associated with more feminine ideas. Put together, they represent the duality of life, merging of opposites. If you believe in the idea that one should maintain balance and harmony in the life between two things, this tattoo is perfect for you. You can place this tattoo on any body part.

  1. Tribal tikki back tattoo

This tattoo has sun, the symbol of power and strength, between the motifs or “enata” which is common in Polynesian tattoos. It represents giving the power of one’s life to the God, that He will give all the good and protect him. It shows the relationship of a human to the God, and how He controls one’s life experiences.

  1. Tribal wrist tattoo

Since most tribal tattoos are widespread, this wrist tattoo is perfect for any women who wish to give a tribal touch. The geometrical detailing and symmetrical lines represent the tribal standing, and respect for one’s tribe. Although nowadays many women consider it as a sign of their originality and a woman’s power.

  1. Full sleeve Maori Tattoo

This tattoo design is a complete art in itself. It consists of several spirals, intricate designs and motifs. Popular in Maori culture, this tattoo is different in terms of other tattoos, as it has just the right touch of sensuality and calmness in it with symbols such as lotus.

  1. Tribal Butterfly tattoo

This tattoo is also perfect for both men and women. Butterfly usually represents the freedom, beauty and change, a little tribal touch with lines and curves gives it a meaning that on the right time, or when needed, even the weakest one’s can become a warrior. If you’re that person who’s an underdog, this tattoo will represent your story rather perfectly.

  1. Celtic Star tattoo

The Celtic star tattoo is made with deeply interlocked lines and curves in full black colour. This tattoo represents one’s connectedness with heritage, the universe and everything else. It can also be interpreted to show infinity, or how everything is in a circle. The number of points in a star also gives it a different meaning, such as the nine-pointed star symbolizes achievement and stability, an eight-pointed star says fullness and rebirth, while a seven-pointed star means integration and mystique, or also the seven planets, seven chakras (Indian cultures).

  1. Tribal bird tattoos

These kinds of tattoos were made to show one’s tribe or the culture one belonged to. Different birds represent different ideas. The hawk stands for valour and honour. The Eagle says spirituality and religion. Cranes are representatives of hope, prosperity and purity. While doves are the epic messengers of peace and love. Combines with tribal designs and motifs, birds give a strong sense of identity of what one stands for.

  1. Dragon tattoos

Dragon tribal tattoos are very popular in Asian cultures. Dragon is a water animal and is considered very evil and powerful who had to be tamed. Dragon in tattoos represents one’s conscious and meditation. Given its powers, it is also a symbol of masculinity, power and strength.  It also shows passion and strong desire to achieve something. The meaning of dragon tribal tattoos also changes with what particular design you choose.

  1. Wolf tribal tattoo

The symbol of the wolf is related to Native American tribes. It represents the traits of a wolf, its intelligence and skillfulness. Since wolves always hunt in packs, it also shows loyalty and perseverance. They also mate for life and thus a symbol of strong family bonds.

  1. Samoan tattoos

Samoan tattoos are very detailed and large. They’re created with different symbols, each representing something about the wearer, such as his rank, age, position in society etc. The most commonly used symbol is the sun that in Samoan culture means leadership and riches. Another one is a turtle, which symbolizes longevity and peace. Lizards in tribal tattoos are considered as a form of God and His eye on us.

  1. Borneo Tattoos

Borneo is an island in South Asia, and these tribes consider tattoos an integral part of their lives. A hand tattoo is considered a status symbol, and also light in the dark. One of the common tattoos involves a durian rosette tattoo on shoulders.

  1. Hawaiian Tattoo designs

Hawaiian tribal tattoo designs involve various designs which show the heritage and history of Hawaiian Islands. These tattoos are gaining an exotic touch by making these designs colourful, against the regular black. Common symbols include Gecko, which is said to have supernatural powers; sharks, as a symbol of protection and shells that say prosperity and wealth. These tattoos flow across the chest, around the shoulders, or on the back.

  1. Lion Tribal Tattoo

Just like a wolf tattoo, it represents the traits of a lion. A lion tattoo usually represents strength, courage, balance and guardianship. When combined with the symbols of the tribe, the pride in one’s tribe and its power. Since lion is the king of the jungle, this tattoo can also be interpreted as a sign of royalty and royal blood.

  1. Falcon tattoo

Falcon tattoos are related to ancient Mississippian culture. Falcon is believed to fly high and a bird that is a direct messenger of God to Earth. Falcon is also considered a deity by various Native American tribes. In a tattoo, falcon represents grit and power. In ancient Egyptian cultures, however, the Falcon is the representative of the sun and symbolizes intellect discipline, determination and commitment.

  1. Fire tribal tattoo

Fire is considered a holy power in many cultures, such as Asian and Native America. Fire is believed to cleanse our soul, and also as a protection from danger. The fire symbol is also a popular tattoo design, which symbolizes the sacredness, purity and rebirth of the wearer. It is also believed to provide inner strength and power to the wearer.

Which symbol do you think represents your life and your beliefs the best?

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Manisha Joshi

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