Tattoos have always played an important role in several different cultures. They have been a part of ancient custom and legacy with respect to a particular cult. Formerly known as body markings, this type of art is not a new trend as they have previously existed in various societies around the globe. Each tattoo is different from the other in relation to its origin, purpose and design although the main essence behind a tribal tattoo remains the same. These tattoos are typically a symbol of identification, social ranking, wealth, bravery and tribal affiliation. Today, the scenario has changed and tribal tattoos have become increasingly popular even among the so-called 'civilized' city dwellers. It would be correct, in many ways, to state that tribal tattoos have not only gained popularity but they have also been revived by tattoo enthusiasts across countries. What began as an old ritual is now seen as an expression of freedom by the youngsters in this generation. The section below speaks about tribal tattoo designs and the body art involved in it. It also sheds some light on the meaning. Take a look!
Tribal Tattoo Designs
The Maoris tattoo design is said to have originated from the tribes of New Zealand. What might look like a modern contemporary design is actually a tribute to an ancient class of wealth and bravery. Each Maoris tattoo has a different interpretation according to the individual sporting it. Some of the common reasons for getting this kind of tattoo inked are identification, title, history, eligibility for marriage etc. The Maoris tattoos are an important part of their culture and are commonly seen on the arms, chest, shoulders and face. These tattoo designs are believed to be unique and beautiful.
Celtic designs are quite unusual when compared to the remaining tribal tattoo designs. Under this particular type of body art, most of the patterns symbolize a philosophical meaning of life and death. It might also be closely associated with a person's religious beliefs. Celtic tattoo art is commonly found in three different styles namely - Celtic cross, Celtic knot and the Celtic trinity. On several occasions, they are combined with the celestial figures such as the sun, moon and stars making it more appealing. Celtic tattoos are in fashion and continue to remain as a popular choice amongst most people.
North American Tribal Art
This type of body modification pertains to the Native Indians in America. Pictorial representation of different types of weapons and animal figures are quite common under this category. For example, a tattoo of a weapon used in war held a higher ranking in the tribal community than a tattoo of a tool used for everyday labor. These designs are quite trendy with the younger generation. Some of them even customize it and make it appear more modern.
In the ancient times, members of the Soma tribe used the boar tusk as an instrument by means of which tattoos where imprinted on the skin. The body art containing this particular tribe's designs are distinct and unique with multifaceted geometrical patterns. Under the Soma tribe, both men and women were permitted to tattoo themselves. The male tattooing was commonly referred as 'pea'a' while for a woman it was known as 'malu'.
The purpose of wearing a tattoo of the Borneo tribe is believed to ward off evil forces and draw positive energy from the other forces of nature. In many cases when a young man killed an animal by cutting off the prey's head, he would be honored for his valor with a zoomorphic image on his fingers. Today, such drawings are in demand and are frequently requested to be inked.
African Tribal Art
The African tattoo markings on the body are quite similar to the ones found in the Maoris tribe. Although the patterns may look similar, they are used on the body for different reasons. During wedding celebrations or after attaining puberty, a man sported the African tribal tattoo.
Today, there are innumerable catalogues with over a thousand diverse designs for a tribal tattoo. It is easy to be carried away by the attractiveness of the pattern but remember that tattoos are body markings which have a predefined meaning. So, get one only after knowing what it represents!