Ancient designs are used as a reference to create modern tribal tattoos. Borneo, Aztec civilizations, India, Hawaii, Maori people of New Zealand, Samoa, and Polynesia are some of the origin cultures that gave birth to tribal tattoos. These civilizations represented rites of passage, social prestige, and family affiliation through their art. Some tattoos were also used to treat medical conditions. Although each culture has its own unique techniques and motifs, the majority of tribal tattoos are pure black. To break up the pattern, some painters used a variety of tints and colors.
Before getting a tribal tattoo make sure to research and learn about the meanings of different tribal tattoos, choose a tattoo that reflects your personality and discuss your ideas for it with your tattoo artist.