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Tribal Tattoo Designs and Variations

Tribal tattoos have a long and interesting history. Today, the traditional Western tribal tattoo is made of jagged and dramatic symmetrical designs that are spread throughout the skin. Traditionally, the lines are black and look quite aggressive in nature. This type of tribal tattoo is not meant to represent an actual picture, but is an abstract design meant to create a certain feeling when looked at. The design of tribal tattoos, however, has been continually evolving as tattoo artists push the limits of what represents a tribal tattoo.

Combining Traditional Tattoos with Tribal Tattoos

One trend that is growing with tribal tattoos is incorporating the traditional tattoo with a tribal tattoo design. There are many ways a traditional tattoo can be combined with a tribal tattoo. For example, the traditional tattoo may float above a line of tribal design. Or, the traditional tattoo might be located in the middle of the line, almost like a pendant on a bracelet. Another popular option is to completely surround the traditional tattoo with a tribal design.

Smoothing Out the Design

As the tribal tattoo evolves, it is also starting to smooth out. The original Western style tribal tattoo included sharp points and angles. As the tribal tattoo continues to change, however, gentle curves are becoming more common. This gentler design is particularly popular with women and with those looking to create a tribal tattoo that follows the natural contours of the body.

Hiding an Image Within the Design

Another growing trend is hiding images with the tribal tattoo design. At first glance, these images appear to be nothing but an abstract tribal design. When looked at more closely, however, you might notice that the tribal design actually forms an image. The blank areas created by the tribal design are filled in by your eyes, helping you see what the underlying image of the tattoo is.

Adding Celtic Flair to Your Tribal Design

With the popularity of Celtic tattoos and of tribal tattoos, it was inevitable that the two would ultimately come together – and they have! More and more tattoo artists are creating abstract tribal designs that include the intricate knotwork associated with Celtic tattoos, bringing together the best of both worlds.

Keeping it Colorful

The traditional Western tribal tattoo was made with only black ink. Tattoo artists are, however, now experimenting with adding other colors to these tattoos. Red is currently the most popular color choice, though shades of gray are popular as well. These colors and shades add depth and highlighting to the tattoo, creating more than just a flat design.

Tying in Other Images

The tribal tattoo is also more commonly being tied into other popular images. For example, dragon tattoos are now including long tails that are reminiscent of tribal designs. Similarly, the very popular rose tattoo may also include stems that fade into tribal designs. These types of designs are popular on the lower back and as a band around the arm, successfully creating the look of a traditional tattoo as well as a tribal tattoo.

As the tribal tattoo continues to evolve, don’t be surprised by the innovative and interesting designs you see popping up with a tribal flair.

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