Many Aztec warriors received tribal tattoos containing an eagle once they were deemed by their tribe as being worthy of being marked with the symbol of bravery and honor. While its image may differ slightly in each unique design, the eagle is still an element of strength and courage that many people choose as a tattoo after having made it through a particularly tough situation in life.
While an eagle is a more subtle form of Aztec warrior tattoo, many men decide to include an Aztec warrior’s head or face within their tribal tattoo designs. Aztec warriors are considered to have been the bravest soldiers of all time, unafraid of the prospects of pain, sacrifice, or death. They believed so strongly in their convictions that they were willing to face just about anything for the sake of their mission.
The turtle is a very popular element of tribal tattoos with Hawaiian or Pacific influences, primarily because turtles are a common sight in this area of the world. Symbolic affiliations unique to turtles include serenity, calmness, peace, and tranquility.
Not only are dragons one of the most commonly requested elements within tribal tattoos, dragon tattoos are as old as time itself. Most ancient cultures contain some sort of myths or legends about dragons, making them a commonly inked image both in ancient times and today. Typically, dragon tattoos are associated with creation when placed on a woman’s body, but they stand for natural power and strength when tatted on a man.
While butterfly tattoos are commonly seen on women, an exceedingly larger number of men are requesting tribal tattoos beautifully drawn in the shapes of butterflies. The butterfly is a symbol of transformation, so this tattoo is a popular choice for those who may be in a period of transition in their own lives. While women typically request butterfly designs filled with vibrant, bold colors, men typically stick with black and white designs for a less feminine appearance.
Like the butterfly, the heart is also a tattoo typically considered to be more popular with women, but things are definitely changing. Of course, the heart can represent love, but it also stands for sincerity. As a word of caution, most tattoo artists agree that a heart-shaped tribal design is among the most difficult to create, so make sure your hired professional is completely comfortable with executing such a difficult tattoo before he or she starts inking you.
Skulls, crossbones, and the like often come across as intimidating to those who don’t understand their deeper significance. More often than not, skulls actually represent strength and an individual’s ability to overcome his past or a remarkably tough situation. Many individuals incorporate skulls into their tribal tattoos once they have closed a certain chapter of their lives to which they never plan on returning.
One concept that is increasing in popularity is the addition of meaningful quotations within a tribal tattoo. This particular design features a tribal look with the addition of an anecdote from Winston Churchill, adding a personal and meaningful twist on a basic tribal tattoo that otherwise has little meaning and simply exists for the eye’s appeal.
While the lion is an animal that has many symbolic meanings behind it, tribal lion tattoos typically represent pride and vigor. A tattoo artist can easily sketch the overall tribal design in the shape of a lion, or you could request a tribal design containing a lion within it. Both are extremely popular choices and hold the same deeper meaning, so it’s really up to your personal preference as to which type of tattoo you find to be more aesthetically pleasing.