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Tribal Art Tattoo Designs

Thursday, February 14th 2013. | Tribal Tattoo

Tattoos mean different things to different people as it has permeated cultures far and wide. S, it comes to no surprise that the tattoo has captures the people everywhere from the dawn of time. It has been part of human culture as far back as Paleolithic era in Japan.Tattoo is the art that pays homage to the body while exhibiting the creativity of the human spirit. Since the tattoo is placed in a three dimensional medium like the body and not a flat piece of paper or canvas, it must adapt its lines to the contours and curves of the subjects body. Nothing exemplifies this more than the tribal style of tattooing.

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Tribal tattoos has been existent since the dawn of time allover the world. The ancient Aztecs of South America have their own versions of tribal tattoos. The Celts and other so-called barbarian tribes sported tribal tattoos as well. Perhaps one of the most famous tribal skin art comes from Polynesia and other pacific island nations like Taiwan, Borneo and the Philippines. In fact, the world tattoo is said to be derived from the Polynesian word for tap,”tatau”. It could also be derived from the Tahitian word for mark, “tatu”.The Tribal Tattoo can serve different purposes depending on what culture they are and what tattoo is being placed. For example, the Maoris use tribal tattoos as a rite of passage where tribal tattoos connote maturity. In other cultures the tattoo is seen as a protection against evil spells as well a source of good luck.

In the Philippines, the tattoo is used to show a person’s rank in society as well as his accomplishments.Even with the prominence of Tribal tattoos in ancient cultures it took time for it to catch on in the modern world. It would take a Filipino American from Hawaii for the tribal to insert itself to the mainstream tattoo scene.Leo Zulueta was the son of a Filipino Immigrant in Hawaii. Leo studied the ancient art of Borneo and added a few elements of both Polynesian and Filipino Tattoos.

When he moved to California to study in San Francisco State University he studied tattooing and has become major influence in tribal tattoo artist of today. In fact he is considered the father of Modern Tribal Tattoos.The modern forms of tribal tattoos are characterized by heavy dark lines that hug the contours of the human body as inspired by the tattoos from the Marquesas Islands. There are variations from time to time like the Polynesian tattoos that maintain small wispy lines while incorporating animals and other figure into the art. Some artists are also experimenting with shading that fade out while being enveloped by strong lines outside of the dominant figure, as started by Leo Zulueta in one tattoo convention.

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There are many famous celebrities with tattoo designs. Actress Pamela Anderson sports a tribal tattoo on the small of her back, a popular location for women. Athletes like Buff Bagwell and Batista have their tribal tattoos prominently displayed on their back and biceps. Spice Girl Melanie Brown and Academy Award winning actress Sandra Bullock also had some tribal tattoos done.The interest in tribal tattoos is increasing steadily as it gets more and more exposure from the media through the celebrities but one thing remains the same. It is still personal and powerful as it shows off the bearer’s individuality and true spirit.

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