Native American Tattoos & Native American Tattoo Designs
Native American tattoos have a large and diverse range of styles and symbols. Tattooing was once a common practice among the Native American peoples but largely came out of practice during the colonization by European settlers. These tattoos would sometimes be used to denote clan and family ties.
What was common among all the tribes of North America was their reverence for animals and their belief in the power of nature. It is for this reason that nearly all Native American tattoos include some aspect of nature or wildlife in them, whether it be feathers or representations of the animals themselves.
Dream Catchers or Spirit Catchers are also popular Native American tattoo designs because they are very intricate and are a popular aspect of Native American culture. These dream catchers or spirit catchers were meant to entrap bad dreams or spirits while one was sleeping. If you are looking for a more traditional Native American tattoo however, it is best to stray away from designs like these.
If you do not have any tribal affiliation it is best to not use any signs that denote membership to a tribe as this can be seen a offensive and may label you as an outsider to any real Native Americans.
On the other hand if you do want to pay respect to native tribes you can get tattoos that incorporate their form of writing or animals that they respected or worshiped. There are a number of Native American myths that can be represented in tattoos; most of these feature animals so you can represent the beliefs of Native American people in a simplistic way.
It is also popular to use the skulls and bones of the animals in a form of Native American tattoo because some tribes used these skulls as talismans against evil spirits. Before getting any type of Native American tattoo is it important to look up the tribal meanings for the design you have chosen so that you know exactly what you are getting into.
Native American tattoos range from the ornate to simple and can therefore be placed nearly anywhere on the body. They are popular with both men and women for their rich history and often colorful designs. The most common places for Native American tattoos are on the arm, chest or back. Traditionally Native Americans would tattoo their faces but that had come out of practice in nearly all but the most dedicated tribal members.
Modern Native American tattoos are more representations of different aspects of the Native American culture rather than following traditional tattoo designs. Popular Native American tattoo designs are of Indian profiles, animal skulls and dream catchers.
Nearly every design incorporates feathers which are commonly associated with Native Americans to represent their love and respect for animals and nature. Smaller Native American tattoos are often simple black symbols that are found within different Native American cultures.
This are often favored by women because they are smaller and can be put in popular places like the ankles and lower back. The number of choices available is also favored with women because choices range from animals to symbols representing personal virtues.
Some celebrities have chosen to tattoo Native American symbols on their body. One of these is Kristanna Loken who has a tattoo of the Native American symbol for strength. Model Erin Wasson has a feather tattooed on chest and actress Vanessa Ferlito has a dream catcher tattooed on the back of her left shoulder.
While modern Native American tattoos are not traditional they are representations of Native American cultures and beliefs, so it is important to be aware of the cultural heritage of the Native Americans before choosing such a tattoo.