In ancient times, tribal tattoos were used to help identify members of different tribes. They were also used to indicate social hierarchy within tribes and document significant events within the history of the tribe, such as major battles and feats of bravery.
Skip forward a couple of thousand years and tribal tattoos are a popular fashion statement worn by people all over the world. These days, instead of using tribal tattoos to group people into the same tribe, people use them to express their personality and their individuality. Part of the appeal of these designs is that they represent the only link between the present and the mysterious and elaborate tribal rituals of the past which have been lost in the mists of time.
The most developed forms of tribal art originate from locations all over the world, including; the Celts (Scotland, Ireland and Wales), the Maoris (New Zealand), the Marquesans, the tribes of Africa, North America and Borneo.
So once you’ve set your heart on getting a tribal tattoo, how do you find the perfect design?
At first glance, it might seem easy to find the perfect tribal tattoo design due to the large amount of examples that are available. However, it pays to do your research if you want to find a design that genuinely means something to you.
If possible, try to avoid choosing a design at random. Many people have done this over recent years due to the rapid growth in the popularity of tribal tattoo art. It goes something like this; they decide to get a tribal tattoo (often because one of their friends has just got one), they flip through a few designs and pick the first one that they like the look of. They often don’t know what their chosen design means and what other choices they could have made. Shortly after they start to have regrets (especially if they got it as part of a fashion trend that has since died down). Too Late!
If you want to find the right tribal art for your tattoo, it’s important to do you homework and find some personal meaning from the design that you finally choose. Don’t jump on a fashion bandwagon. Look for a symbol that says something about who you are or what you believe.
Use the internet to browse through as many tribal tattoo designs as you can just to get a feel for the various styles developed by the different ancient tribes. And once you find a tribal style that you like, do some more research into the artwork of that tribe. See what else their history of art has to offer. And only once you’ve found a design that says something to you, should you end your search. If the design doesn’t excite you now, how do you think you’ll feel about it in twenty years?
Alternatively, if you find a tribal design with elements that you like, it may be possible for your tattoo artist to incorporate it with various modern design features so that the finished design reflects both modern and ancient art. This approach will take much more time and research to create, but ultimately you’ll much happier with your uniquely personal tribal tattoo.