Top 10 Iconic and Traditional Tribes with tattoos of the world
Tattoos may be all the rage now, but they have been around for a long time. There are numerous tribes of the world that have been using tattoos as a major means of identification. These designs are usually known as traditional tattoos, which differentiate people from other cultures. Traditional Tribes with tattoos are incredibly intriguing tattoo designs. Additionally, these tattoo designs hold a profound significance and meaning for various individuals.
There are several tribes of the world that are identified with different intriguing traditional tattoo designs that make them unique. Traditional tattoos have remained popular ever since they were first introduced. The world is home to numerous tribes with a wide range of tattoo designs that may appeal to individuals, regardless of their tribal affiliation.
If you are looking for a traditional tattoo design that is associated with tribes of the world, then read this post. This post has all that you need to know about traditional tattoo designs connected to particular tribes of the world.
Make sure to look for a professional tattoo artist for a traditional tattoo. A professional tattoo artist would be able to give you a unique tattoo design inspired by a different culture.
Let’s get started…..
This article delves into exploring the meaning of traditional tattoos, their history, the top tribes of the world, traditional tattoo designs, and more.
So, let’s take a look…
Meaning of Traditional Tattoo
Traditional tattoos are a form of body art that encompasses a wide range of indigenous tattoo designs from various cultures around the world. These tattoos are characterized by their unique designs and cultural symbols. The meaning, design, and cultural aspects of these tattoo designs are distinct from others. It depends on which tribe it originates from.
Tribal tattoos or traditional tattoos can be placed on various parts of the body, including the shoulder, chest, face, or thighs. In certain tribes, it is customary to have traditional tattoos on the face. You have the flexibility to choose any location on your skin for it. Many cultures utilize traditional tattoos as a means of identification of their tribes or societies.
If you’re looking for a tattoo design that stands out from your usual choices, consider opting for a traditional tattoo. Before getting a traditional tattoo inked on your body, it is important to ensure that the design represents your tribe or culture. You have the freedom to select any design you desire to enhance the beauty of your skin. When considering getting a traditional tattoo from any tribe around the world, it is important to understand that one of the purposes of such tattoos is for easy identification.
History of Traditional Tattoo
Traditional tattoos, also referred to as old-school tattoos or tribal tattoos, are a popular form of body art. The origin of these tattoos dates back to the late 19th and 20th centuries, originating in the Western world. Traditional tattoos have a rich history that dates back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Africa, Polynesia, and Southeast Asia. These tribes utilize tattoos as a means of expressing their religious beliefs or ancestral heritage. This art has its origins in the distant past, making it difficult to trace its exact beginnings in the present day.
Today, this tattoo design has gained global popularity among different cultural groups around the world. Some of the groups include the Maori of New Zealand, the Polynesians, the Samoans, and several others. These cultural groups are renowned for their distinctive tattoo designs that reflect the traditions and identity of their respective tribes.
During the 1980s and ’90s, American tattoo artists showcased a wide range of innovative designs, including Aztec design, Maori tattoos, and intricate swirling lines and patterns. Norman Collins, the tattoo artist, played a significant role in popularising traditional tattoo designs.
These particular tattoo designs are characterized by their bold, black outlines. They are often devoid of any additional colors. Some tribes of the world incorporate elements such as nautical themes, anchors, swallows, or roses into their traditional tattoos. Adding these elements simply enhances the beauty and uniqueness of a tribal tattoo design. The various tribes around the world are renowned for their simple yet captivating tattoo designs, characterized by clean and precise lines. Today, individuals choose traditional tattoos due to the distinctive nature of this artistic style. You can also consider getting a traditional tattoo design.
Let’s now take a look at the top 10 tribes from all around the world with their tattoo designs. Here we go…
Top 10 Tribes of the World and Their Tattoos
There are numerous tribes around the world that are renowned for their distinctive traditional tattoos. In this article, we will focus on the top 10 tribes. If you are interested in learning about the top tribes from around the world and their distinctive tattoos, which can serve as a source of inspiration, please continue reading.
Here is a list of ten tribes renowned for their unique traditional tattoos:
1. Maori (New Zealand)
This is one of the top tribes in the world known for its unique tattoo design. They usually have a facial and body tattoo known as “ta moko.” This speaks of the tribes’ culture and identity. The ta moko tattoo holds great significance for each individual, as it is unique and distinct for every person.
Maori tattoos not only speak of their cultural identity but also speak of their power, journey of life, and protection. The ta moko tattoo designs are a powerful symbol that represents the preservation and continuity of their rich cultural heritage. Maori people get these tattoos to show their association with the Maori Tribe.
2. Ainu (Japan)
Ainu is yet another tribe of the world that is famous for its distinctive body artwork. This tribe is native to Japan. The Ainu people predominantly have this body tattoo engraved on their faces.
This represents their cultural identity, and the Ainu culture is actually one of the oldest ethnic groups in Japan. It is common for women of this ethnic group to have tattoos on their faces and lips. This tattoo is commonly referred to as the mekiri or lip tattoo. The tribal tattoo design is truly one-of-a-kind!
3. Berbers (North Africa)
Another tribe of the world with a unique cultural identity is the Berbers from North Africa in Morocco. This particular tribe usually has geometric patterns in its body artwork.
The traditional tattoo of the Berber people symbolizes the transition from one phase of life to another. In addition, the geometric patterns in Berbers’ tattoos symbolize protection, healing, and spiritual connection.
4. Iban (Borneo, Malaysia)
Iban is yet another popular tribe of the world with unique tattoo designs. The people from this tribe are known to have full-body tattoos, which is particularly common among men. Iban tattoos hold great significance as sacred symbols that establish a connection between the community and their gods, providing protection against malevolent spirits. Ibans receive tattoos both as rewards and as a way to illustrate their life journey.
It is said that these tattoo designs serve as a protective shield for men. Also, it symbolizes a life record of experiences, courage, strength, and readiness.
5. Sak Yant (Thailand)
Sak Yant is one of the most renowned tribes of the world from Thailand. They are known to have unique traditional tattoo designs. It is associated with spiritual protection and Buddhism. Sak Yant symbolizes invulnerability and features a design that closely resembles a necklace.
The significance of this carries profound cultural implications for the inhabitants of Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand. It signifies wisdom, clarity, guidance, insight, resilience, and compassion. Sak Yant tattoo designs are said to possess exceptional strength. It is said that they safeguard the wearer’s body, making them impervious to any weapon’s harm.
Also See: Unique Sak Yant Tattoo Designs
6. Māori (Taiwan)
Mãori is another tribe in Taiwan that is also identified with a unique body tattoo design. Traditionally, the names given to Mori (Taiwan) tattoo design names are derived from significant areas of the wearer’s life, such as their family, heritage, or personal accomplishments. Each pattern is one of a kind and carries with it a strong cultural and spiritual significance.
The females of this tribe get this particular tattoo pattern as a part of a rite of passage that marks their transition from being girls to becoming women. Additionally, it represents the spiritual connection that Maori women have with their ancestors through the use of this bond.
7. Chin (Myanmar)
Chin (Myanmar) is yet another popular tribe of the world, renowned for its unique tattoo designs. Individuals from this tribe are known for their facial tattoos, especially the women. This traditional tattoo has deep cultural meaning. It signifies marriage and fertility among the women of this tribe. They symbolize an individual’s identity, family lineage, and social status within the community.
Traditional Chin tattooing, also known as Myanmar tattooing, is a culturally significant practice that utilizes hand-tapping techniques to skillfully craft elaborate designs on the skin. The process requires the use of a distinct set of tools that are tailored to the needs of the Chin community. These tattoo designs are created using traditional tools, including thorns, Bamboo sticks, Charcoal ink, Leaves, and so on.
8. Dusun (Borneo, Malaysia)
This is also one of the top tribes of the world that is unique with their traditional tattoo. Tattoos are a significant part of the culture and identity of the Dusun people of Borneo, Malaysia. The tattoos are typically used to express cultural identity, religious values, and social standing.
The Bungai Terung, or “eggplant Borneo flower,” is the traditional first tattoo for an Iban person. Bejalai (a voyage of knowledge and wisdom) is a rite of passage for the Iban people, and it is symbolized by the Bungai Terung tattoo. These tattoos are often combined with floral motifs for more beauty and uniqueness. It holds both cultural and personal significance to people from this tribe.
9. Dayak (Borneo, Indonesia)
Dayak is another famous tribe of the world from Indonesia. This tribe places great importance on their body artwork. It is a common practice among the warriors of this tribe.
The Dayak people refer to tattoos as “tutang,” and these tattoos hold various meanings, undergo different processes, and serve distinct purposes. They believe that black tattoos will transform into gold, serving as a guiding light in the afterlife during the Tiwah ceremony.
Dayak tattoos are believed to provide spiritual protection to the wearer. They also serve as a protective shield against evil forces and provide strength to the wearer.
10. Samoans (Samoa)
At number 10, we have Samoans, the most popular tribe of the world with significant body artwork. This tribe tattoo is known as “pe’ a’ for the men while that of women is called “malu”.
The Malu is the traditional female tattoo in Samoa. At the same time, Pe’a is a traditional male tattoo design that extends from the midsection to the knee. In Samoan culture, the pe’a and the malu are symbols of cultural pride, identity, masculinity, and womanhood, respectively.
There is a story behind these tattoo designs, and the story goes like this: Taema and Tilafaiga, twin sisters from Samoan folklore, traveled to Fiji and acquired the art of tattooing there. They returned to Samoa, imparted their knowledge, and the art of tattoos spread throughout the island nation.
Symbols Associated With Traditional Tattoos For Different Tribes of the World
Most of the traditional tattoos of the different tribes of the world have some symbols attached to them. Some of these symbols include:
1. Animals and Nature
Traditional tattoos mostly add animal motifs to each design that has different symbols. For instance, attaching a bear to a tribal tattoo of any tribe symbolizes strength and courage. On the other hand, the Lion symbolizes bravery; the turtle signifies longevity and wisdom.
Some tribes may decide to add elements from nature to their tattoo to enhance the design. These elements include trees, flowers, rivers, and many more.
2. Elements and Symbols
Some of the elements attached to the traditional tattoos mostly represent fertility, courage, protection, or spirituality. Traditional tattoos often feature various symbols that hold significant meaning. Some common symbols to look out for include the sun, moon, arrows, spirals, and more.
Sun symbolizes energy, vitality, spiritual awakening, and life. Spirals signify the cycles of life, eternity, or personal growth. Arrows signify protection, direction, and focus, while the moon symbolizes a connection to divinity and the subconscious mind. Other elements include crosses, Celtic knots, and Maori Karu, which represent rebirth and growth.
Common Colours Used For Traditional Tattoos
Ever since the existence of traditional tattoos, tattoo artists have come up with new ideas to make it look more attractive. More often than not, the tribal tattoos are done with black ink.
In the past, tribal tattooists exclusively used black inks for creating body tattoos. Modernization and technology have brought about numerous changes. Incorporating colors into tattoos enhances their visual appeal, making them more attractive and captivating to the eye.
Some of the colors used for traditional tattoos include red, blue, yellow, and green. Your tattoo artist might also make use of natural pigments often made from minerals, animal sources, or any crushed plant material.
Watercolour can also be used to add more beauty to a traditional tattoo of any tribe. The use of watercolor makes the tribal design look more expressive and captivating. If you really want a traditional tattoo, you can get it etched with watercolor. The good thing about watercolor tattoos is that they look gorgeous!
Your tattoo artist can also make use of UV or blacklight inks on tribal tattoos. This can be used to make the elements more visible and real under ultraviolet or black light. Tattoo artists even have the option to experiment with metallic inks when working on traditional tattoos from different tribes of the world. The use of metallic ink in tattoo designs creates a captivating shimmering effect, although it is important to note that some individuals may have a reaction to it. So, it’s crucial to choose the color combination for your tribal tattoo very carefully!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can Anyone Get a Traditional Tattoo of a Different Tribe?
Well, traditional tattoos make for unique tattoo designs. Getting a traditional tattoo is not a problem. However, it is advisable to get a tattoo from that tribe if you belong to that tribe. It is because tattoo of a particular tribe is their cultural identity and should be treated with respect and love. Although if you live it, then it’s your choice, but get to know about the tribe before you get one.
2. Can You Randomly Choose Any Traditional Tattoo?
It’s always advised to do thorough research on a tribal tattoo design before you get one.
3. Can Any Tattoo Artist Etch a Traditional Tattoo on Your Skin?
Finding a professional tattoo artist with experience in creating traditional tattoo designs is essential to ensure that you receive the highest quality tribal tattoo.
4. Which are the Elements to Attach to a Traditional Tattoo?
Traditional tattoos often feature elements inspired by nature, the universe, and everyday life. However, you are free to choose any element that holds personal significance for you.
5. Do all the Top Tribes of The World Still Practice Traditional Tattooing?
Yes! Most of the tribes of the world still practice traditional tattooing. However, it is not compulsory for the people of these tribes to get the same tattoo designs etched on their bodies. However, if you are from any of the tribes and you want to get a cultural identity, then it’s your personal choice.
Putting it all together…
So, there you have it: the Top 10 Tribes Of The World Known For Their Traditional Tattoos. Tattoos hold significant cultural heritage and traditions for many tribes across the world. Traditional tattoos are more than just a typical form of body art that one can simply have inked onto their skin. The concept varies among different tribes. Understanding the origins, cultural symbolism, and significance of various tribal tattoo designs is crucial.
Getting a traditional tattoo allows you to express your identity to the world around you. This will continue to be a strong means of cultural identity around the world. Despite modernization, most tribes still value traditional tattoos, which can’t be ignored.
Thanks for reading this article! We hope that it will help you have some insights into the body artwork associated with different tribes of the world.
Happy Tattooing… 😊 😊