Tribal tattoos continue to be some of the most classic and popular tattoo ideas for men. In fact, many guys look at tribal tattoo designs first when they want to get inked. The tribal tattoo originated from ancient cultures and traditions as a sign of courage and strength for warriors, and because tribal designs provide versatility and style, they make for badass body art.
If you’re looking for the best tribal tattoos, you’ll appreciate our list of cool ideas and unique designs. Simple, cheap and generally inked in black instead of color, men can pick from tribal sleeve, shoulder, arm, chest, forearm, leg and back tattoos. And with so many different types of designs, ranging from modern and unique to small and meaningful, guys have a chance to be creative with their tribal tattoo.
Ultimately, artists across the country can all agree that tribal tattoos are the most requested of them all. They are incredibly flexible since they can come in any shape, size, style, and color, and often serve as one of the best means of expression.
To inspire you, we’ve compiled examples of the best tribal tattoos for men. From cool to meaningful, explore these tribal tattoo designs to find the perfect artwork.
Tribal Tattoo Meanings
People who haven’t done their research often look at tribal tattoos and assume they are simply a group of lines and symbols put together in an artistic way. While this is certainly true, tribal designs originated with numerous indigenous tribes around the world.
In those tribes, tattoos had social and religious meanings. Sometimes, tribal tattoo designs depict social status and help individuals identify leaders. Other times, tribal ink is an important part of religion.
More often than not, though, tattoos indicate the completion of a rite of passage, and this is the translation that tends to accompany today’s modern tribal tattoos. Generally, these rites of passage were associated with manhood – the transition of a young boy into a man or warrior.
Finally, there are different types of tribal tattoos depending on the place of origin. For this reason, you’ll find African, Hawaiian, Indian, Polynesian, Viking, and Samoan tribal tattoos.
Modern Tribal Tattoos
Traditional and modern tattoos vary in appearance. A traditional tattoo will often cover a large portion of the body; chest, shoulder and arm tribal tattoos are common among indigenous peoples. These incorporate symbols that may represent the tribe’s language, gods, spirits, and other religious icons.
Modern tribal tattoos are variations of their traditional counterparts, and talented artists can give almost anything a tribal spin. Bands, words, animals, lines, armor, shields, and random shapes can be added into these designs.
Today, tribal tattoos are usually all black, although some guys prefer black and grey or multi-color schemes for variation. Most drawings and patterns are complex and detailed because more intricate designs tend to signal higher quality work.
The type of artwork you pick will depend on placement. Consider the size, design, visibility, and meaning of your tribal tattoo.
Cool Tribal Tattoo Ideas
Because tribal tattoos are so incredibly versatile, it can be difficult to decide what and where to get them. Fortunately, there are numerous unique tribal tattoos out there that you can use for inspiration.
Some of the best ideas include the tribal tattoo sleeve, which utilizes a single pattern of your choice from the shoulder to the wrist. Tribal tattoos can span across your entire back if you choose, or can be small enough to fit on an elbow or hand. You could choose a tribal-style animal with a hint of color, or you may opt for tribal lines and bands that outline an object or symbol.
However, the ultimate tribal tattoo is the one that connects your arm, shoulder, chest and back with one awesome design. Guys who pick these types of badass tribal tattoos often use shields or armor to depict themselves as warriors in life.
Best Tribal Tattoo Designs
Check out the top 101 best tribal tattoo designs!