Tribal Ink From Around the World

Tribal tattoos have been been practiced in one form or another for millenia. While the practice may be somewhat different nowadays there are still many who get tribal tattoos for reasons which could be described as neo-tribal in their quest to belong to a ‘tribe’ (either neo-tribal or traditional) even if it is on a subconscious level. Most simply get tribal tattoos because of their striking appearance.

Historically getting tattooed was seen as a rite of passage into adulthood. A belief goes that if a girl can’t take the pain of tattooing, she is un-marriageable, because she will never be able to deal with the pain of child birth. If a boy can’t deal with the pain he is considered to be a bad risk as a warrior, and could become isolated from the tribe.

Tribal tattoos by tattoo artist Nissaco from Chopstick Tattoo.
 

© Tattoo by Nissaco from Chopstick Tattoo

Some primitive tribes use tattooing as a rite of social status. The Maori peoples of New Zealand use tattooing primarily for this purpose. To the Maori, a person’s Moko designs enhanced their prestige and show transition from one social status to another. At its highest level, Moko designs proclaimed the sacredness of chieftainship. See more tribal tattoos

An offshoot of Maori tattooing for health is tattooing to preserve youth. Maori girls tattooed their lips and chin, for this reason. When an old Ainu lady’s eyesight is failing, she can re-tattoo her mouth and hands, for better vision.

Tribal tattoo design done by tattoo artist Nissaco from Chopstick Tattoo.
 

© Tattoo by Nissaco from Chopstick Tattoo

The Hawaiians are prominent among people who have specific tattoo gods. In Hawaii, the images of the tattoo gods are kept in the temples of tattoo priests. Each tattoo session begins with a prayer to the tattoo gods that the operation might not cause death, that the wounds might heal soon, and that the designs might be handsome.

In the 1970′s, American tattooing discovered primitive, tribal tattoos. People wanted simple designs with meaning and they began copying Polynesian tattoos primarily from the islands of the South Pacific. In the past few decades, people of westerners began looking for tribal tattoos of their own origins and created a new form of tattoo commonly known as neo tribal. Many old school American tattooists will tell you…

When you should get a tattoo, the tattoo god will tell you that it is tim

Tribal tattoo design done by tattoo artist Nissaco from Chopstick Tattoo.
 

© Tattoo by Nissaco from Chopstick Tattoo.

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