More than any single style, tribal tattoos draw upon traditional tattoo elements from various cultures and Indigenous groups worldwide. Maori tattoos, Aztec designs, and the swirling lines and patterns that developed in America in the 1980s/90s are known simply as “tribal” and all fall under the umbrella of tribal tattoos.
The placement of these designs depends a lot on the tradition from which they draw inspiration. The shoulder, thighs, chest, and face are all canvases used in tribal tattooing. It depends on the design and your personal preference when choosing the placement for your tattoo ideas.
Showcasing work from several different traditions and cultures, the tribal tattoos in this collection will give you plenty of ammunition to bring to your favorite artist when it’s time to sit for your next session.
1. BEST TRIBAL TATTOOS – WOLF TATTOO
Wolves have been powerful symbols of strength and loyalty for centuries and hold massive potential in terms of design and composition. For both of these reasons, wolf tattoos are an excellent choice for someone looking to add the ultimate canine to their collection of ink.
2. FILIPINO TRIBAL TATTOO
Among some peoples of the Philippine islands, traditional tattoos are known as burik. Created using layered patterns and motifs drawn from the natural environments of the islands. The Filipino tribal tattoos are potent symbols of the cultural heritage.
3. BEST TRIBAL TATTOOS – DRAGON TATTOO
With the powerful symbolism associated with these mythic creatures and their complex shapes and anatomy, it isn’t surprising that dragon tattoos are popular designs for the western tribal tattoo style.
4. TRIBAL SUN TATTOO
Another design that lends itself to the layered patterns and swirling lines of the western style, tribal sun tattoos, gained popularity in the 90s and continues to this day. Primarily tattooed on the arms and chest, this tattoo is perfect for keeping small, making it easy to hide while you’re at your 9 to 5.
5. TRIBAL LION TATTOO
The lion, an apex predator, is associated with power, strength, and vitality. It is the perfect way to continue this legacy of meaningful designs, making lion tattoos an excellent choice for anyone looking for a fierce addition to their collection of ink.
6. TRIBAL TURTLE TATTOO
The turtle represents perseverance, strength, and patience, making tribal turtle tattoos a visually striking way to embody these traits.
7. HAWAIIAN TRIBAL TATTOO
Hawaiian tattoos are powerful symbols of cultural heritage and national pride. The designs are as meaningful as visually striking for someone who wants to demonstrate their respect.
8. AZTEC TRIBAL TATTOO
Hosting a plethora of fierce gods and intricate patterns, the art and designs of this Mesoamerican culture are striking and deeply meaningful. For someone looking to dedicate a portion of their skin to this culture and its people, Aztec tattoos are an excellent choice.
9. TRIBAL SCORPION TATTOO
The aggressive shape of these predatory arachnids makes them the perfect subject for the swirling lines and sharp edges. Scorpion tattoos also represent the zodiac house, Scorpio, ideal for anyone born between October 23rd and November 21st.
10. BEST TRIBAL TATTOOS – POLYNESIAN TATTOO
Similar to traditional art from other island cultures, Polynesian tattoos use layered patterns and intricate line work to create art that draw inspiration from the sea, etc.