Although tribal tattoos may appear like contemporary designs, they are actually the oldest tattoo designs. These tattoos passed through many ancient civilizations. As the name indicates, they first came from several ethnic tribes. Nowadays, tribal tattoos are extremely popular due to the fact that many actors, sports figures and musicians are wearing them. Take Angelina Jolie for instance, she is wearing a neo-tribal tattoo on her belly and Mike Tyson has a tribal tattoo on his face.

In the past years, tribal tattoos are more significant compared to today. A tribal tattoo was a rite to gain adulthood in many tribes in the past. In some groups, a female who could not bear the pain of tattooing was known to be fragile and is likely to remain single since she could not tolerate childbirth. If this happens to a male, he was seen as a coward and incapable of hunting.

Tribes in New Zealand take a lot of pride in their tattoos. The higher the tribal rank, the more complicated and elaborate the tattoos you sport. Hawaii tribes use tattoos as symbolism. They strongly believe in tattoo gods and will first pray to these gods before having a tattoo inked on their bodies. Polynesian tattoos are known to be the pioneers of modern tattoos. A sea explorer named James Cook landed in the Polynesian islands and when he traveled back to England, his men were wearing tribal tattoos similar to the neo-tribal designs you see today.

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