Tattoo Inspiration for Every Soul

20 Impressive Tribal Tattoo Ideas That Honor Your Identity

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Getting a tribal tattoo has become increasingly popular but the roots of this practice go back to ancient tribes who used to paint their bodies to express belonging. These tattoos are often big, bold, and complicated. They’re based on repeating patterns and intricate details done with a lot of precision.

If you’re feeling inspired by these tattoos because of your heritage or simply because you love the way they look, this article is made for you. Here are some design ideas that may tick all the boxes for you.

1. Full tribal sleeve

Credit: grumpy_doper

We’ve told you that these tattoos tend to be big so hopefully, you’re not surprised by the size and the details of this piece. If you’re willing to cover your whole arm with a tattoo, this is a nice way how you can do it.

2. Chamorro tattoo design

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This design is special for its chain-like patterns and sharp motifs that wrap around the lower part of the arm. If you’re feeling brave, you can even cover your whole arm with this pattern and enjoy the symmetry and the details of your new tattoo.

3. A Kalinga tattoo

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Tattoos that are specific to the village of Kalinga in the Philippines often consist of geometric figures, animals, or everyday objects. As you can see, these designs are perfectly symmetrical and can represent different things – from mountains to fertility and strength.

4. A Filipino tattoo

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This Filipino tribal tattoo consists of geometric patterns that represent the harmony of nature and the universe. Perfectly placed, this tattoo will satisfy even the harshest critics and the most serious perfectionists out there.

5. A Polynesian tattoo

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This Polynesian tribal tattoo features a manta ray which holds a special meaning in Polynesian culture. It represents strength, adaptability, and freedom. Its shape is created out of different patterns which make this design complex and impressive.

6. A modern Filipino tribal tattoo

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If you’re looking for something more elegant and delicate, you’ll be happy with this design. It’s proof that you can get a tribal tattoo without covering the majority of your body with bold and thick patterns.

7. A tribal thigh piece

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Here you can clearly see the combination of organic lines and sharp, repeating patterns. Perfectly placed on the thigh, this tattoo will have people asking questions about it.

8. Celtic and Pictish-inspired tattoo

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To celebrate your origin, you may opt for a tribal tattoo that used to be worn by your ancestors. This mixture of Celtic and Pictish elements may be exactly what you’re looking for.

9. Simple tribal design

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The majority of tribal tattoos are going to be bold and impressive but this one is a bit different. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a smaller design that will still give you the desired meaning.

10. A Mexican tribal tattoo

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These calf pieces are full of details and geometrical elements that create an intricate pattern. Based on the textiles of the Tarahumara, these tattoos celebrate Mexican lineage in the best way possible.

11. A Polynesian band

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This Polynesian band consists of a mix of patterns and tribal strokes that give you that ancestral feel. With a design such as this one, you’ll truly feel as if you’re wearing the same skin decoration as some of your predecessors.

12. A take on a Filipino tribal tattoo

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Tribal tattoos are made out of repeating patterns. But when you think about it, they’re more than just that. Each of the symbols represents resilience, strength of family, and guidance. That’s why more and more people are going crazy about these tattoos.

13. A smaller tribal piece

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Here we have another smaller piece that will give you the meaning you’re looking for without having to get a huge tattoo. Made out of organic and circular lines, this design could be exactly what you’re looking for.

14. Intricate back piece

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Once again, symmetry and repeating patterns are the main focus of this tattoo as well. This design is a perfect option if you’re looking for a back piece that will follow the natural curve of your spine.

15. Ornamental hand tattoos

Credit: maclow

With a flower in the middle that’s surrounded by ornamental curvy lines and dots, this tattoo is a perfect solution when you’re not looking for an overly complicated design. It will still look impressive on the skin so you can be sure you won’t go wrong with it.

16. Tribal dotwork

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If you’re obsessed with dots and believe that any tattoo can look ten times better when you decorate it with dotwork then you’ll love this design. Bold dots that are distributed symmetrically down the preferred body part will leave you with a more minimalistic approach to tribal tattoos.

17. A Marquesan tattoo

Credit: ranieropatutiki

When it comes to Polynesian art, Marquesan tattoos are definitely the most detailed. This particular design consists of human figures, shark teeth, tiki symbols, waves, and many other repeating patterns. This goes to show just how complex these tattoos tend to be.

18. A connection of patterns

Credit: cop_tattoo

This is a Polynesian tattoo that’s made out of a huge amount of patterns that together create a truly impressive design. It goes in different directions, with each part of the tattoo following the natural curve of the body. We can only imagine how many hours it takes to complete a tattoo of this size and complexity.

19. A complex tribal tattoo

Credit: tattoo.aida

We’re going back to simple lines, dots, and crosses that together create an intricate design on the body. This tattoo may not seem as complicated as the previous one but we know for sure that it requires a lot of patience and a skilled hand.

20. A Celtic tribal tattoo

Credit: treubhan

Finally, we have one more Celtic tattoo filled with knots, hounds, and interconnected symbols. Thanks to the blackwork technique, this whole design becomes even more impressive. It’s definitely a piece that’s going to take your breath away.