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32 best tribal tattoo designs and their meanings

THE Tribal tattoo designs

Tribal tattoo designs: Tribal tattoos have been a prominent part of human culture for centuries, with roots tracing back to ancient civilizations. These bold and intricate designs hold deep cultural significance and continue to captivate tattoo enthusiasts worldwide. In this article, we’ll explore 32 of the best tribal tattoo designs and delve into their meanings, offering insight into the rich history and symbolism behind each one.

  1. Polynesian Tattoos:

Originating from the Pacific Islands, Polynesian tattoos feature intricate patterns symbolizing various aspects of life, including strength, courage, and family.

  1. Maori Tattoos:

Maori tattoos, also known as Ta Moko, are iconic to New Zealand. They represent an individual’s life journey, with each element denoting achievements and experiences.

Tribal tattoo designs

  1. Samoan Tattoos:

Samoan tattoos embody their warrior culture. These bold designs often cover the body, symbolizing a warrior’s dedication and fearlessness.

  1. Hawaiian Tattoos:

Hawaiian tribal tattoos often depict elements of nature, such as waves, sharks, and turtles, symbolizing their connection to the sea.

  1. Aztec Tattoos:

Aztec tribal tattoos incorporate geometric shapes and intricate patterns, representing their rich cultural heritage and spirituality.

  1. Mayan Tattoos:

Mayan tattoos pay homage to ancient Mayan gods and their complex calendar system, reflecting the importance of time and nature in their culture.

  1. Celtic Tattoos:

Celtic tribal tattoos boast interlocking knots and spirals, signifying eternity and interconnectedness in Celtic culture.

  1. Norse Tattoos:

Norse tribal tattoos, including runes and mythological symbols, honor Viking history and their warrior traditions.

  1. Native American Tattoos:

Tribal tattoos of Native American origin feature sacred animals and symbols, connecting individuals to their ancestral heritage and spiritual beliefs.

  1. African Tribal Tattoos:

African tribal tattoos encompass a wide range of designs, often showcasing animals, masks, and abstract patterns, reflecting the diversity of African cultures.

  1. Haida Tattoos:

Haida tribal tattoos hail from the Pacific Northwest and frequently include animals like eagles and bears, symbolizing strength and spirituality.

  1. Borneo Tattoos:

Borneo tribal tattoos, characterized by bold black lines and intricate motifs, denote protection and unity among the indigenous people of Borneo.

  1. Aztec Calendar Tattoos:

Aztec calendar tattoos are popular for their detailed depictions of the sun and moon, signifying the cyclical nature of life and time.

THE Tribal tattoo designs

  1. Inca Tattoos:

Inca tribal tattoos often incorporate the image of the Incan god Inti, representing the sun and its vital role in sustaining life.

  1. Egyptian Tattoos:

Egyptian tribal tattoos typically feature hieroglyphics, gods, and pharaohs, offering a glimpse into the fascinating history of ancient Egypt.

  1. Japanese Tribal Tattoos:

Japanese tribal tattoos, known as Irezumi, feature intricate motifs like koi fish and cherry blossoms, symbolizing strength and resilience.

  1. Tibetan Tattoos:

Tibetan tribal tattoos incorporate Buddhist symbols and mantras, embodying spirituality and inner peace.

  1. Thai Tattoos:

Thai tribal tattoos, or Sak Yant, blend mystical symbols and animals, bestowing protection and luck upon the wearer.

  1. Papua New Guinean Tattoos:

Papua New Guinean tribal tattoos are characterized by bold, dark lines and geometric shapes, signifying identity and cultural pride.

  1. Native Hawaiian Tattoos:

Native Hawaiian tribal tattoos encompass traditional motifs like sharks, turtles, and palm leaves, reflecting their deep connection to nature.

  1. Amazonian Tattoos:

Amazonian tribal tattoos often incorporate symbols representing rainforests, rivers, and wildlife, emphasizing the importance of environmental preservation.

  1. South American Tribal Tattoos:

South American tribal tattoos incorporate ancient symbols from cultures like the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans, celebrating their shared history.

  1. African Animal Tattoos:

African tribal tattoos featuring animals like lions, elephants, and zebras honor the continent’s wildlife and its role in their cultures.

  1. Indian Tribal Tattoos:

Indian tribal tattoos often feature sacred symbols like the Om symbol or representations of Hindu gods, expressing spirituality.

  1. Indonesian Tattoos:

Indonesian tribal tattoos, such as Dayak tattoos, convey cultural identity and serve as protection against evil spirits.

  1. Aboriginal Tattoos:

Aboriginal tribal tattoos from Australia feature Dreamtime symbols, which narrate the creation stories and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous peoples.

  1. Berber Tattoos:

Berber tribal tattoos from North Africa showcase bold, geometric designs, reflecting the nomadic lifestyle and cultural heritage of the Berber people.

  1. Thai Hill Tribe Tattoos:

Tattoos from Thai hill tribes, like the Karen and Akha, depict traditional patterns passed down through generations, symbolizing unity and identity.

  1. Sudanese Tattoos:

Sudanese tribal tattoos often feature bold, dark lines and simple geometric shapes, reflecting the resilience and strength of the people.

  1. Tibetan Elemental Tattoos:

Tibetan elemental tattoos incorporate symbols representing earth, water, fire, and air, aligning the wearer with the natural world.

  1. Mexican Tribal Tattoos:

Mexican tribal tattoos draw inspiration from Aztec and Mayan cultures, celebrating the rich history and spirituality of Mexico.

FOR Tribal tattoo designs

Outside of the NY Tattoo Convention @ Roseland, 239 W 52nd Street, NYC. Ismel Peregrina with shirt off showing Tattoos of Mexican Flag and tribal tattoos on chest and tribal tattoos on left arm. Tattoo artist Jose Peregrina
Body art or tattoos has entered the mainstream it is known longer considered a weird kind of subculture.
“According to a 2006 Pew survey, 40% of Americans between the ages of 26 and 40 have been tattooed”.

  1. Oceanic Tattoos:

Oceanic tribal tattoos, inspired by the sea and marine life, symbolize the connection between humanity and the ocean’s vastness.


Tribal tattoos have stood the test of time, evolving with different cultures and carrying profound meanings. Whether you choose a design that reflects your ancestral heritage or one that resonates with your personal beliefs, tribal tattoos continue to be a powerful form of self-expression, connecting you to a rich tapestry of human history and symbolism. When getting a tribal tattoo, remember to research its cultural significance and choose a design that truly speaks to you, ensuring that your ink tells a meaningful story for years to come.