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Tribal Arm Tattoos

Tribal Arm tattoos have been popular for thousands of years. And even at this age and time, tribal tattoos are very popular among men and even women. Tribal tattoos were very symbolic in the past among the tribes and natives that wore them proudly. They wore these tattoos for a variety of different reasons. For the most part, these tattoos were used to rank each member in the tribe.


They were used to mark certain accomplishments and passages throughout one’s life. They were used for religious and spiritual purposes as well. For women, they were even used to mark fertility. For example only, one member may get a specific tattoo for completing a brave journey. He or she would forever have this tattoo to symbolize that occasion. This was a common practice for such cultures for thousands of years.


Tribal tattoo origins date back centuries. These tattoos are usually solid black ink markings that form continuous lines. These linear lines can also group together to form an image of some type. In ancient times, the soot and ash that were used only created a blackish color.

Tribal tattoos were very common in the past amongst tribes and natives. Each member of the tribe would use these tattoos as markings for achievements and to determine where they rank among the tribe. Since needles did not exist in early times, they used special tools that cut the skin. These cuts were filled in with ash and soot. Once finished, the ash and soot would dry and turn black in color. It would fill the skin and the design would be distinct and form an image or marking. Hand-tapping tattoos followed many years later. This is when they would use a sharp tool that punctured the skin repeatedly. This style of tattooing is known as “tapping”. They would place the sharp object over the skin and tap the object into the skin. It was filled in with the same ash and soot that was used in the past. Both processes would be painful, but it was a way of life. Those that wear these tattoos wear them proudly and with honor.

Tattooing in the ancient past among these cultures were used for identification purposes also. Some of the first cultures that used such methods were the Maori, Berbers, and the Hausa. These tattoos were very symbolic and every marking has a meaning. Although it is rare in this age and time, there are still tribes and cultures that continue to practice these same methods as their ancestors used many years ago.

As you have already read, tribal tattooing has been practiced for centuries. The classic tribal tattoo is black in color. There are usually linear lines that form some type of image. In Hawaii, there tattoos may form a volcano or plant. African tattoos would support plants also and even animals. As you can see, they are a variety of different styles, depending on what area you discuss and what point in history it takes place. But none the less, the traditional tribal tattoo is black and linear.


Although the traditional tribal tattoo remains black, you are beginning to see more and more of them colored. Many people want a tattoo that is colorful and the traditional tribal tattoo is plain in that since. As you can see in the top picture, gray is used as the main color, but the outline remains black. The same can be said with the tattoo on the right. Although red and black are both being used, the outline is still black. So to some historical sense, it is along the lines of traditional customs. Others may disagree. Many people and even tattoo artist believe in the traditional aspect of tribal tattoos. They may not agree to do a tattoo out of the traditional barrier.


The tattoo on the right is an example of a Hawaiian tribal tattoo. You can clearly see how the linear lines form images in this tattoo. Hawaiian natives wear these tattoos proudly and with honor. It is not uncommon to see Hawaiian natives with these tribal tattoos. These tattoos usually hold deep symbolic meaning to the one who wears them.

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