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Tribal Tattoo Designs for Women

Updated on October 16, 2008
Whitney05 profile image

Whitney is an expert on piercings and tattoos, with experience in the body modification world.

Tribal Tattoos and History of Tattoos

Tribal tattoos are just one of the many popular tattoo designs that people tend to choose when they are trying to pick out their next tatttoo, but you will find that where tribal tattoos were once a more manly tattoo design, women are now favoriting the particular tattoo design.

Tribal tattooing actually started in tribal groups in areas of the Philippines, Borneo, Africa, North and South America, Europe, the Orient, Cambodia, New Zealand, as well as other areas of the world. And, the actual tribal tattoo is enough to tell others where the person is from, much less what tribe he is a part of.

There were, and still are, many reasons to tattoo a member of a tribe, some of which include decorative and spiritual purposes, identification, and cosmetic purposes.

Tribes used tattoos to mark a rite of passage, tribe status and rank, religious and spiritual devotion, bravery, sexual lures and fertility, pledge of love, punishment, protection, outcasts, slaves, and convicts.

These tattoos were also used to help mark what tribe you were a part of, as well as to what locale.

But, even to primitive tribes, tattoos have been a form of cosmetics to cover skin discoloration and as permanent makeup.

If, you are thinking about getting a tribal tattoo, there really are more options than you may think. Although, the more common tribal tattoos are typically going to be tribal arm bands, tribal tramp stamps, tribal arm sleeves, and other tribal tattoo designs.

Flickr Image by hb9252
Flickr Image by hb9252
Flickr Image by cwalker71
Flickr Image by cwalker71

Tribal Women's Tattoos

Even though so many people feel that tattoos are a sign of masculinity, it is not impossible to find feminine tattoos. Plus, in many cases it is all in the placement of the tattoo.

As for tribal tattoos, many of them are very bold and thick, which is truly a masculine trait, but as a woman, you can get a feminine tribal tattoo.

You want to have the design more thin lined and smaller versus thick black lines. You may also want to consider more swirls and designs with your tribal tattoo.

Many women will actually have other designs and images blended in with the tribal designs. Hearts, butterflies, and flowers are those designs that are commonly used to embellish the tribal designs.

Another thing to consider, is the placement of the tattoo. Being a female, there are many feminine places where yo ucan put a tattoo. Tribal arm bands are pretty masculine, so you may want to avoid an arm band, unless you go thin, but otherwise, you can consider thing tribal wrist bracelets, tramp stamps, and even ankles. 

As a female, when picking out or drawing your tribal tattoo, the sky's the limit. Don't let someone else's opinion stop you from having a more "manly" tattoo tattooed onto your body. Remember that it your body after all, and you have to live with your skin.

Just make sure that you think out your tattoo before you get it. Try not to overthink your tattoo design, but at the same time you don't want to just pick a pretty picture on a tattoo flash. Make your tattoo meaningful. Remember that tribal tattoos typically have pretty big meaning behind them whether it is a rite of passage or sign of bravery or love, so make sure that if you're going to get a tribal tattoo you make it worthwhile for you.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Even though tribal tattoos can be very striking, i think they are just too common. People the world over have tribal tattoos without ever knowing what the word tribal means !!

      If you want tobe tattooed, be original, do some research and use colors!

      I have. Bep.

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia

      You can cover it with another tattoo. It's just hard, as most tribal is going to be black, so it may not cover as easily, unless you choose a larger tattoo design. You could go to a tattoo artist and get a professional opinion, and have one draw something up for you that would best cover it. You may be able to see some, but that all depends on the design you choose to cover the tattoo with.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      can you cover up an tribal tattooo if you find iut u dont like it and with what

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia

      They are called tribal, because that is where they originated. Tribes having their own markings to show family, status, etc. It no longer is such, but the overall design still mimics the origins.

    • ariskygal profile image


      9 years ago

      I like alot of the designs - but I don't get why people call these "tribal." If a tattoo was really tribal it would be unique to your tribe or family group. Getting a "tribal" tattoo that looks just like everyone else's "tribal" tattoo seems the opposite of tribalism to me.


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