Tribal sleeve tattoos are popular among celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for many reasons. For one thing, the swirling patterns of various shapes, symbols and lines in varying shades of black make for a powerful personal statement on any skin tone. For another thing, the symbolisms are powerful in themselves, too, especially for those who know how to “read” the tribal tattoos.
Indeed, tribal tattoos have been used for centuries in places like Samoa, Polynesia and Hawaii to symbolize the person’s path, passion and position in life. The tattoos tell a story of bravery, courage, love, heritage, spiritual devotion and social status so much so that tribal tattoos must not be considered lightly by anyone wishing to have one inked on their skin.
Factors to Consider
In this line, you must consider many factors before deciding on tribal sleeve tattoos. Keep in mind that with the expanse of skin being tattooed, revisions and redesigns of the old tribal tattoo can be difficult, to say the least. Often, you can end up with just a black space all over your arm if the original tattoo has been covered up because of prior mistakes.
First, you must identify the exact location of the tribal-themed sleeve tattoos. Will it be on your right or left or both arms or legs? Will it be a quarter, a half or a full sleeve? Where will it start and where will it end?
You have to think through these questions since time, effort and money are involved in all instances, not to mention that tattoos are permanent. For example, you may want just a quarter tribal sleeve tattoos because your employer requires employees to hide any and all tattoos while at work.
Second, you may also have to think of gender. Although most tribal tattoos in modern ink sho ps have unisex designs, you will want to look for gender-specific designs. Most women can get away with a man’s tribal t attoo but men may not be so lucky in that department.
Plus, there’s also the matter of the original tribal tattoos from, say, Samoa where the designs for men are markedly different than those for women. You want to do your tattoos justice by staying true to the culture that developed the designs in the first place.
Truly, if you want to enjoy tribal sleeve tattoos on your arms and legs, you must carefully choose the designs. Tattooing may be an art but it is rife in symbolism to which you will want to stay true.
Examples of Tribal Tattoos
With that said, here are a few suggestions for tribal tattoos as sleeves on your arms and legs:
- Samoan tattoo designs are characterized by abstract shapes symbolizing heavenly bodies and earthly things as well as desired virtues in men and women. The Rock has a Samoan type of sleeve tattoo replete with symbolisms about his life, his achievements and his aspirations.
- Maori tattoos are characterized by intricate spirals and curbed designs, which are very similar to the carvings on their traditional totem poles.
No matter which style and size of the tribal sleeve tattoos chosen, you must wear them with pride. You must give justice to the symbolism, intricacy and beauty of these tattoos because this is exactly how the tribal people wear their own tattoos, which you borrowed, in a manner of speaking.