03 April 2010

Traditional Tribal Tattoo Art

Here's an overview of tribes where tattoos played and play an important role in society:

Borneo Tattoos

Tattooing in Borneo (one of islands of Indonesia/Malaysia) is an important form of body modification. The tattoos are believed to protect against pain and diseases. The Iban, Kayan en Kenyah tribes, all headhunters, share the same style of tattoos. The Kayan used carved wood blocks or carved skulls to transfer the designs onto the skin.

Polynesian Tattoos

Polynesia is a group of over 1000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. The most famous Polynesian tattoo styles are the Maori, Marquesan, Tahitian, Samoan and Hawaiian styles.

Maori Tattoos

The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They use a form of personal identification called Ta Moko. Tattoos are used to carve the family history into the skin.

Marquesan Tattoos

The Marquesa islands are a group of islands situated in French Polynesia. The Marquesan tattoo art greatly influenced today's tattoo artists. The hands are an important tattoo spot in the Marquesan tattoo tradition, as well as the ears, the shoulders and the lips.

Hawaiian Tribal Tattoos

Like the other tribal tattoos, tattoos in Hawaii have a hidden meaning and are believed to have magical power. They are applied during a ritual ceremony. Both men and women are tattooed with motifs like triangles, squares, crescents and animals like sharks and lizards.

Celtic Tattoos
The Celtic people used to live in tribes spread over Great Britain and parts of Western Europe and were heavily tattooed. Interlacing patterns, spirals and knot work are typical for Celtic tattoos.

Native American Tattoos
Tattoos played a big role in the culture of the American Indians. They were used for identification, to give praise and to give magical powers or protection. Typical Native American tattoo designs include animals (eagles, snakes, bears), feathers and mythical creatures.

Aztec Tribal Tattoos

The Aztecs were another group of Native Americans. They lived in central America from the 13th to the 16th century and used tattoos to mark a warrior's rank and differentiate between the various tribes. Typical Aztec tattoos include gods like Quetzalcoatl and Huitilopochtili, suns and eagles.

Chinese Tribal Tattoos
The history of the Chinese tattoo is not very interesting, but there are several ethnic minorities in China with a strong tattoo tradition. The most important tribes are those of the Dai, Drung and Li.

Haida Tattoos

The Haidas are the indigenous people of the territory that lies on the west coast of North America (southeast Alaska). The people of the haida tribe decorate their objects with crests (totems) and use tattoos to represent the family crest and social status. The crests included all kinds of animals (killer whale, shark, wolf, eagle, owl) as well as the sun, the moon, clay, ...


No comments:

Post a Comment