Tribal Tattoo Designs

To a certain extent, tribal tattoos speak for themselves. It is a special feature of a tribal tattoo that even a relatively simple or unformed line or curve tends to look good, even just on its own.

In recent years, a style that we can call the New Tribal has emerged. Symbols that have nothing to do with the original tribal designs are combined with the typical lines, curves and interlocking formations of the traditional tribal tattoos. In the case of New Tribals, it is the decoration surrounding the central element that marks them as tribal. Here's an overview of tribal tattoo symbols or symbols that are often combined with tribal designs:

Tribal Dragon Tattoos

The dragon is a mythological creature that appears in many different cultures around the world and has as many different symbolic meanings. The meaning of a tribal dragon tattoo is therefore something personal.

In Asia, dragons are seen as a benevolent creature. The Japanese dragon denotes the male principle (yang): the sun, air, fertility, rain. It symbolizes the dominance of the heavenly over the earthly powers.

In the West the dragon is portrayed as an evil creature, breathing fire to show its mythical power.

Learn more about dragons and dragon tattoos

Tribal Cross Tattoos

The cross is a very old symbol and appears in many religions around the world. A cross is a good symbol to express one's spirituality or religion and it lends itself well to a tribal adaptation
Tribal rose tattoo

The rose and flowers in general are popular tattoo designs. Roses can mean a lot of different things, it's a symbol for love, respect, spiritual growth (just like the lotus flower), Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.

Tribal Phoenix Tattoos

The phoenix is a mythological bird that has a very long life and arises from his ashes to be reborn. The phoenix can be found often in Far Eastern tattoo art and is a symbol of rebirth and transformation.

Tribal Sun Tattoos

The sun is a powerful symbol. People have always (literally) looked up to and worshipped that mysterious glowing sphere, so it's not hard to see why it appears in so many legends. The sun is associated with life and fertility (amongst others).

More about Sun Tattoos.

Tribal Tiger Tattoos

The tiger is a very powerful symbol and appears often in Asian tattoo genres. It is a symbol for power, beauty and cruelty.

The tribal bear tattoo (sometimes depicting a whole bear, but often just a paw print) is reminiscent of some Native American tattoos. It gives the impression of an animal totem or protective animal spirit.