Tribal tattoos have been popular for decades due to their intricate, cool designs. Historically, tribal designs were used as a means to differentiate between local tribes and cultural groups as well as a way to demonstrate fighting ability and social status. Although tribal tattoos are primarily rooted in ancient traditions and cultures, today’s ink most closely identifies with guys wanting that badass look associated with power and strength.
If you’re considering this type of tat, it may be difficult to pick the best tribal tattoo. With so many cool tattoo ideas out there and so many different body parts to get inked, it’s important that you choose the right drawings that represent you. Whether you want a tribal tattoo on your sleeve, shoulder, arm, forearm, chest, back, or leg, you’ll love our collection below!
Here’s our guide to the top tribal tattoos for men!
- 1 Tribal Tattoo Meanings
- 2 Best Places To Get These Tattoos
- 3 Cool Tribal Tattoos
- 3.1 Chest, Shoulder and Sleeve Warrior Tribal Tattoo
- 3.2 Black Sleeve Tribal Ink
- 3.3 Tribal Design on Back
- 3.4 Wolf Tribal Design on Chest
- 3.5 Unique Tribal Armor on Back
- 3.6 Tattoo on Calf
- 3.7 Full Leg Black Tribal Ink
- 3.8 Arm, Shoulder and Chest Tribal Design
- 3.9 Awesome Chest + Shoulder Tribal Tattoo Idea
- 3.10 Shoulder + Sleeve Tribal Armor
- 3.11 Cool Chest Tribal Art
- 3.12 Full Chest and Stomach Tribal Designs
- 3.13 Hot Shoulder Tribal Drawing
- 3.14 Half Sleeve and Shoulder Tribal Design
- 3.15 Dark Tribal Design on Back
- 3.16 Tribal Design + Bull Artwork on Side
- 3.17 Badass Tribal Design on Leg
- 3.18 Bear Tribal Tattoo
- 3.19 Aztec Tattoo Design
- 3.20 Creative Polynesian Tattoo
- 3.21 Filipino Tribal Tattoo
- 3.22 Creative Tribal Lion Tattoo on Chest
- 3.23 Cool Tribal Arm Tattoo
- 3.24 Polynesian Tribal Design
- 3.25 Remarkable Tribal Back Tattoo
- 3.26 Sexy Tribal Tattoo Drawing
- 3.27 Thigh Band Tattoo
- 3.28 Arm and Shoulder Tribal Design
- 3.29 Leg and Thigh Sleeve Tattoo
- 3.30 Male Tribal Neck Tattoo
- 3.31 Native American Tribal Tattoo For Men
- 3.32 Full Leg Tribal Design
- 3.33 Hawaiian Tribal Arm Tattoo
- 3.34 Tribal Fish Tattoo
- 3.35 Tribal Lion Tattoo
- 3.36 Tribal Scorpion Tattoo
- 3.37 Aztec Warrior Tattoo
- 3.38 Turtle Tribal Tattoo
- 3.39 Polynesian Shark Tattoo
- 3.40 Native American Tribal Tattoo
- 3.41 Polynesian Thigh Tattoo
- 3.42 Tribal Half Sleeve Tattoo
- 3.43 Unique Tribal Thigh Tattoo
- 3.44 Cool Forearm Tribal Art
- 3.45 Hawaiian Tribal Tattoo
- 3.46 Polynesian Leg Tattoo
- 3.47 Colorful Chest and Arm Tattoo
- 3.48 Spiral Tribal Tattoo
- 3.49 Shoulder Celtic Tattoo
- 3.50 Intricate Tribal Arm Design
- 3.51 3D Tribal Tattoo
- 3.52 Maori Tattoo For Men
- 3.53 Maori Shoulder Tattoo
- 3.54 Celtic Knot Leg Tattoo
- 3.55 Tribal Skull Tattoo
- 3.56 Chest and Torso Tattoo
- 3.57 Awesome Tribal Hand Tattoo
- 3.58 Filipino Sun Tattoo
- 3.59 Dark Half Sleeve Tattoo
- 3.60 Hawaiian Chest Tattoo
- 3.61 Tribal Rib Cage Tattoo
- 3.62 Shoulder Blade Tattoo
Tribal Tattoo Meanings
When you get a tribal tattoo, it’s important to understand the symbols and meanings behind them. Tribal tattoos today often blend ancient symbols with modern culture. The interlocking spiral motif is often paired with sharp edges to evoke a more powerful image.
Of course, different cultures used certain geometrical images to portray specific motifs, but in today’s world that’s not always the case since tribal tats are simply sought and appreciated for their artistic beauty.
South American Tribal Tattoos
As scary as the Mayan predictions were for some people, their tribal tattoo motifs are equally intriguing for tattoo enthusiasts. The artwork of South American tribal designs is usually more complex than others. You can find numerous references to both good and evil symbols on any given South American tribal tattoo.
Some Hawaiian traditional men’s tribal tattoos depict shark’s teeth on them. It may look like just another use of geometrical figures to outsiders but for those familiar with the Polynesian culture, they have meaning. The shark tooth is said to symbolize protection.
Some tattoos are used to show someone’s status among the tribe. The Rock’s most recognizable tribal tattoo is the mark of a chief-warrior.
Celtic Tribal Designs
Celtic knots are popular and also come with history and meaning behind them. Celtic warriors were often inked in their ancient methods with various tribal designs. Some were meant to show power, wisdom, and union, while others were used almost like charms. There are many Celtic tribal tats for bringing luck and fortune to the ones who wear them.
Of course, not everything has to mean something. Because of the increased popularity of these designs, sometimes cool tribal tattoos for guys are just tattoos. Tattooing is a different kind of art and you don’t always have to search for hidden meaning in abstract ideas.
Best Places To Get These Tattoos
As tattoos are becoming less taboo, it’s obvious that there are no more limitations on what part of the body you should or could ink. Instead, let’s have a look at some of the more popular body parts to get a tribal tat.
Tribal Arm Tattoos
In plain sight and with plenty of canvas to work on, tribal arm tattoos are popular for males of all ages. The skin is not as sensitive so it’s easier to commit to long tattooing sessions.
Tribal Forearm Tattoos
Very similar to the arm area, tribal forearm tattoos are also preferred as this placement is easy to show off the design. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, then a tribal shoulder tattoo might offer the perfect location to easily showcase or conceal your artwork.
Tribal Sleeve Tattoos
Tribal sleeve tattoos are reserved for enthusiasts. If only tatting a section of your arm doesn’t do your drawing justice, consider a sleeve or half sleeve to get the job done in style!
Full Sleeve Tribal Tattoo
Tribal Shoulder Tattoos
Tribal shoulder tattoos may be the most popular spot to get this type of ink. This is because the shoulder can easily be hidden under a dress shirt or regular t-shirt. Similarly, the shoulder muscle is sizable enough to prominently display this powerful ink.
Tribal Leg Tattoos
If you’re looking for ideas for tribal tattoos for men on the legs, they’re not hard to come by. Just like the arms, legs offer a great skin canvas when it comes to tribal designs. You can make use of the Celtic knots and wrap them around your calf, or make a strong statement with more sharp and abstract images.
Tribal Back Tattoos
It’s not uncommon to see the upper back inked with tribal designs that usually extend towards the shoulders. There are even plenty of tribal patterns that make use of the spine to better represent an image.
Tribal Hand Tattoos
Although the most visible part of the body, some men prefer tribal hand tattoos. While we don’t recommend this area because the bones in the hand make this a very painful place to get inked, if you’re dedicated enough, it can be done.
Tribal Chest Tattoos
Using the chest for a tribal tattoo location is rarer than you might think. Generally, you would see tattoos that come down from the shoulders or extend upwards from the sides. Using only the chest for a tribal drawing may not do the intricate patterns enough justice.
Cool Tribal Tattoos
In modern day, the Polynesian, Samoan, Maori and Hawaiian cultures have become closely associated with the tribal tattoo, yet other ancient cultures such as the Aztecs, Mayans, Egyptians, Japanese, and Chinese have crafted their own depictions of the body art style. Some of the best tribal tattoos are created by blending elements of several designs into one.
If you’re excited about getting a tribal tattoo for men, then you’ll need plenty of designs and ideas before taking one to your tattooist. Check out these awesome examples to see which one you want!
Chest, Shoulder and Sleeve Warrior Tribal Tattoo
Black Sleeve Tribal Ink
Tribal Design on Back
Wolf Tribal Design on Chest
Unique Tribal Armor on Back
Tattoo on Calf
Full Leg Black Tribal Ink
Arm, Shoulder and Chest Tribal Design
Awesome Chest + Shoulder Tribal Tattoo Idea
Shoulder + Sleeve Tribal Armor
Cool Chest Tribal Art
Full Chest and Stomach Tribal Designs
Hot Shoulder Tribal Drawing
Half Sleeve and Shoulder Tribal Design
Dark Tribal Design on Back
Tribal Design + Bull Artwork on Side
Badass Tribal Design on Leg
Bear Tribal Tattoo
Aztec Tattoo Design
Creative Polynesian Tattoo
Filipino Tribal Tattoo
Creative Tribal Lion Tattoo on Chest
Cool Tribal Arm Tattoo
Polynesian Tribal Design
Remarkable Tribal Back Tattoo
Sexy Tribal Tattoo Drawing
Thigh Band Tattoo
Arm and Shoulder Tribal Design
Leg and Thigh Sleeve Tattoo
Male Tribal Neck Tattoo
Native American Tribal Tattoo For Men
Full Leg Tribal Design
Hawaiian Tribal Arm Tattoo
Tribal Fish Tattoo
Tribal Lion Tattoo
Tribal Scorpion Tattoo
Aztec Warrior Tattoo
Turtle Tribal Tattoo
Polynesian Shark Tattoo
Native American Tribal Tattoo
Polynesian Thigh Tattoo
Tribal Half Sleeve Tattoo
Unique Tribal Thigh Tattoo
Cool Forearm Tribal Art
Hawaiian Tribal Tattoo
Polynesian Leg Tattoo
Colorful Chest and Arm Tattoo
Spiral Tribal Tattoo
Shoulder Celtic Tattoo
Intricate Tribal Arm Design
3D Tribal Tattoo
Maori Tattoo For Men
Maori Shoulder Tattoo
Celtic Knot Leg Tattoo
Tribal Skull Tattoo
Chest and Torso Tattoo
Awesome Tribal Hand Tattoo
Filipino Sun Tattoo
Dark Half Sleeve Tattoo
Hawaiian Chest Tattoo
Tribal Rib Cage Tattoo
Shoulder Blade Tattoo