Gallery Tattoo

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tribal tattoos

Tribal tattoos have been in vogue for quite a while now (since the early 1990s) and while their popularity is diminishing, they are still going strong.

Lower Back Tribal
Advantages of getting a tribal tattoo:
    * There's a lot of black ink in tribal tattoos, which has the advantage that it holds up very well, black tattoo ink doesn't fade as fast as other colors.
    * Tribal tattoo designs are very popular, so as long as you don't want a specific or traditional tribal, you shouldn't have a hard time finding a good tattoo artist that can design your custom tattoo.
    * It's easier to design your own tattoo or at least a mockup of your own tribal than it is with other tattoo designs.
    * Tribal tattoos have a bold visual appeal: their thick, black curving lines and interlocking patterns lend themselves well to many of the standard tattoo locations, such as the upper arm (in the form of a tribal armband for example) ,the back or the lower back.

Disadvantages of tribal tattoos:
    * Tattoo removal is not working very good on those large patches of black ink.
    * Covering them up with another tattoo ain't working either.
    * Finding a tattoo artist or tattoo parlor is not easy when you want a traditional design of a specific tribe.
    * When you're getting a tattoo that is an imitation of a traditional tribal design, keep in mind that you might be insulting the original tribe members. This is especially the case with Ta Moko, which is a form of family and personal identification of the Maori people. Copying their designs is a form a identity theft.
In this gallery you will find some examples of modern tribals:
Tribal Foot Tat     Tribal Tattoo     Tribal Shoulder Tattoo
Tribal Tattoo Pattern     Tribal Color Tattoo     Tribal Tattoo Pattern
The tribal styles we see today originate from various old tribes like those from Borneo, the Haida, the Native Americans, the Celtic tribes, the Maori and other Polynesian tribes.

The shapes and motifs of these tribal tattoos are deeply rooted in the tribe's mythology and view of the world. The traditional tattoo artist aims to reflect the social and religious values of the tribe in his tattoo designs. Recurring themes are the rituals of the tribe, the ancestors, the origins of the world and the relationship with the gods.

Tribal tattoo
The tattoos of an older Indian woman
What are tattoos used for in tribal communities?
    * Identification: each tribe and family has its own tattoo motifs. Tribal tattoos read like a book: they tell a lot about the origin and the social hierarchy of the person who wears them. Tribe members can identify each other by their tattoos, in this life and in the afterlife.
    * Social status: the style and size of a tribal tattoo says a lot about a person's social status in the group. A person with a big tattoo usually has a higher rank in the society compared to one with a simple tattoo.
    * Rite of passage: getting a tattoo is part of the ritual that turns a boy into a man, a girl into a woman.
    * Magic, healing and protection: tribal tattoos are believed to have magical powers. In some tribes the boy gets assigned a totem animal during his rights of passage. By tattooing that animal it is believed that the wearer inherits some of the powers of his totem animal.
Tribal tattoos
Modern tribal tattoos are generally speaking not strongly associated with any particular tribe and are usually stripped of their social meaning. Tribal tattoo art we see in the Western world today are often based on:
    * Polynesian tattoo designs
    * The tattoo designs of the tribes of Borneo, namely the Iban and Kayan (Sarawak) and the Kenyah (Kalimantan)
Tattoo artists like Leo Zulueta, an American with Filipino roots, and Alex Binnie, from London, had a great influence on the development of this modern tribal tattoo style.

Luckily for today's tribal tattoo lovers, the methods used to apply the tattoos have changed. Bone needles and plant or animal dyes have been replaced by tattoo machines and the circumstances in which a tattoo artist today works are generally more hygienic than those of a tribal community. Some people though, want to go all the way and prefer to be tattooed using the traditional methods.

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