35 Exotic Native American Tribal Tattoos And Their Meaning

Native American Tribal Tattoos

Available in a wide variety of designs and styles, Native American Tribal Tattoos showcase the Native American culture in a spectacular and classy manner. From figures like Chiefs with headdresses, Female Native Americans and animals to different symbols such as dreamcatcher, skulls, Teepees, tribal weapons and spirit animals, there are infinite options for a custom Native American Tribal tattoo.


All these designs are deep-rooted and contain meanings related to individual tribes. These tattoos were used as a system of identification in most tribes. Many tribes think that tattoos give some type of supernatural power, others use them as a symbol of heroism.

Similarly, many tribesmen used to ink spirit animals or animals whose qualities they wanted to possess. Also, there were tattoos that were purely beauty enhancers. The style was different in different tribes. Moreover, the tattooing tools such as the rocks and sharp pieces of bones make the ancient tattoos more valued and worth trying now.

Types Of Native American Tribal Tattoos And Their Meaning

Tattooing has been a part of the Native American culture. There were tattoos for victory, beauty, love, hate, power, passion and spiritual association to name a few. In fact, few tribes such as Cree and Iroquois were especially known for full-body tattoos. The Cree tribesmen used to ink on their chest, arms, legs, and even their lips and chin. Men from Iroquois tribe ink on thighs to show the number of battle kills they have had while the women use tattoos for medical reasons. They believe that tattoo on one part of the body could reduce/remove the pain/infection from another part.

Just like the placement and meaning, the art style also varies between different Native American and Indian Tribes. Inuit tribe use images and curved lines while Hupa prefers a mix of geometric shapes and realism in their tribal tattoos. One important point to note here is that the same design could mean differently in different tribes. For example, dreamcatchers look awesome on a wrist, upper arm, shoulder blades, rib cage, neck and even on legs but depending on a tribe’s cultural heritage, the placement could change the meaning. The same with dozens of other symbols such as hieroglyphs, Thunderbird, ravens and eagle feathers. However, an expert on Native American Tribal Tattoos would easily figure out the right meaning and its association with a specific tribe.

While a lot of people with Native American roots love to tattoo the traditional designs that mark the tribal lineage, many other people want these tattoos because of the intriguing look. When you decide to get a Native American Tribal Tattoo, figure out first if you want an original tattoo or a more unconventional design inspired by the tribal world. Here, we have picked some of the finest Native American tattoo designs to let to pick from the best of the best.


#1: multiple triangles and center star

Who doesn’t love stars? This tattoo features a star in the center with green lines that make it pop. It depicts the will to shine amidst the struggles of life.


#2: flowers and arrows

You can mix arrows and flowers for your tattoo. This shows versatility and a unique strength to achieve your goals. Make sure you have this lovely piece inked today.


#3: T- shape and circumscribed margin

This is worth a tattoo that’s worth a second glance. The green colors add glam to the finish, while the shapes give it a dynamic edge. Get your now!


#4: Whale on Arm

If you are a lover of the sea, then you should go for this. It features a deep green whale with colorful markings. This is simple, yet very sophisticated.


#5: Seal tattoo

What’s more magnificent than a deal tattoo. As a spirit animal, the seal usually represents a symbol of imagination & creativity that might be hidden in you.


#6: Satin Black

Black is a really beautiful cand neutral color to have your tattoo in. It gives the design a breathtaking finish when completed. So, get yours in black today.


#7: multiple triangles

Triangles are an amazing way to add extra dimension to your design. This tattoo features three big triangles composed of smaller ones. Bear the pain, it’s definitely worth it.


#8: Gladiator Helmet

This is a very creative tattoo with lots of moving patterns. You can get this in any part of your body. Show the warrior in you with this beautiful tattoo. perfect match for you.


#9: Fibonacci

Who says you can’t use mathematical sequences for your tattoo? This piece shows the versatility of mathematics, while depicting an orderly nature. The red markings give it life.


#10: Spiral shaped tattoo with Deity

It is possible to also ink a tattoo with religious undertones. This features a goddess in the center, which is a sign of prosperity. Choose this for a sleek finish.


#11: Skulls And American Tribal Woman

native american tribal tattoos

This realistic tattoo featuring a woman with feathered headdress and skulls is one of the traditional tribal designs for women. While the original designs were usually ink in black, grey or brown ink, the use of colors in this design made the tattoo fabulous.


#12: The Colored Headdress

american tribal tattoos

Headdresses have been a very important part of Native American culture. Used at different occasions and ceremonies, they signify different attributes such as valor, honor, victory, position, power and more. They are also used for beautification by the tribal women. This detailed tattoo with the plumage of feathers, the braid, and other elements is just splendid. And while we are not much aware of this design’s exact tribal association, we know that it is a head-turning Native American headdress tattoo.


#13: Native American Woman

native american tribal tattoos in arm

Isn’t she looks beautiful? Though it looks simple, it is a pain-staking tattoo with lots of details. See her beautiful eyes and lips, they are magical. Her headdress and jewelry are also traditional. Very good observation by the artist.


#14: Spirit Animal Wolf

native american tribal tattoos

In Native American tribes, spirit animals are considered as the sacred being or spirit guides that guide a person through his or her life. Each spirit animal posses certain personality traits. Maybe the wearer of this wolf tattoo would want to show that through loyalty, perseverance and intuition are his personality traits he is a loner with an appetite for freedom.


#15: The Chief, The Eagle, And The Wolf

native tribal tattoos

What an amazing tattoo! It features a chief with eagle and wolf that would probably be his spirit animals. While this tattoo is intriguing in meaning, it is amazing from the design perspective. This realistic and traditional tattoo is sure to please the tribal tattoo lovers.

Rib Tattoos For Guys

#16: Dramatic Native American Woman Tattoo

native tribal tattoos

We have heard a lot that tribal women are very beautiful, and this tattoo is a perfect depiction of that pleasing picture. Very intriguing yet detailed, the tattoo has a lot of ‘wow’ elements. From her penetrating eyes to the elaborative headdress, the weapon, flowers and vines, everything is so native and fabulous. Oh! we can’t miss mentioning that red eye-mask!


#17: Dreamcatcher

native american tribal rib tattoos

So flowy and fabulous! this dreamcatcher rib tattoo with flying birds is splendid. You might have seen many dreamcatcher tattoos but this one is special because of its windy effect that you can feel as you gaze upon the tattoo. Such a masterpiece could only be created by an expert of Native American tattoos.


#18: The Bloody Axe And The Feather

native american tribal tattoos

This is an interesting tattoo with a strong meaning. The axe with the blood reflects the strength of the wearer who is willing to fight and sacrifice while the feather symbolizes truth, courage, freedom, and bravery. In some tribes, it is also considered as a message from the spirit world.


#19: Native American Chief

american tribal tattoos

Just see the precision in creating this marvelous tattoo. Every bit of the image is reflecting the artistry. This detailed tattoo with all the traditional style of colors and patterns is mindblowing. And with its placement on the lower arm, it will definitely be a conversation starter.


#20: Tribal Woman Chief

native tribal tattoos

It takes a lot of time, vision and expertise to create such an outstanding tattoo. With that ornate headdress, this looks like a woman chief that is beautiful and powerful.


#21: Tribal Woman With Horse Spirit

Tribal Woman With Horse Spirit

Tribal women have distinctive features that are spellbinding. Their special accessories add more mysticism to their sharp contours. Here the wearer might want to connect the beauty of the tribal woman with the attributes of freedom, nobility, grace, and stamina and therefore included the horse figure. We love the shading on the tattoo.


Mother And Son Tattoos


#22: Bull Skull With Feathers

If you are looking fora design that is not mainstream yet symbolic then a bull skull tattoo like this one is sure to rock. A bull skull symbolizes both death and strength. It also signifies life-long protection from all natural elements. It can be inked alone or with other symbols such as feathers to intensify the meaning as done in this tattoo.


#23: Dreamcatcher Armband

native american tribal tattoos as armband

That’s an interesting Native American Tribal tattoo. Armbands with feathers and beads are popular among the Indians and thus this tattoo is a good depiction of the native culture.


#24: A Wrinkled Tribal Man

A Wrinkled Tribal Man On Rib

It’s impossible to believe this is a tattoo. Isn’t it feels like a real man is sitting out there? What a marvelous work of art! It is tough to get such designs and they are painful too. But when the end result is so awesome, everything is worth it.


#25: The Woman With The Eagle And The Dreamcatcher

The Woman With The Eagle











We don’t want to go in the meaning because we aren’t coming out of the design. This is a finely done Indian tattoo that is a showstopper and a true tribute to the tribal lineage.


Since Native American tribal tattoos are mostly connected with spirituality, religion and deep-rooted sentiments, they should always be approached with respect. When you decide to get a tribal tattoo, consider doing good research and find an expert on the matter. An expert tattoo artist could create a wonderful piece of art that will be beautiful as well as meaningful.


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