Tribal tattoos have taken off in the recent years due to their intricate and attractive design, offering many possibilities for the tattoo enthusiast. It is estimated that nearly one third of all tattoo art today is some form of tribal design. The term tribal art refers to any number of designs ranging from the traditional tribal designs of indigenous and aboriginal cultures to the latest in graphic design. This style is characterized by black lines and curving shapes which together form a stylized animal, nature motif, or merely a design which means something deeper to the native artist.
The first tribal tattoos were more than mere decorations; they portrayed a sign of spiritual belief, honor to a deity, or a designation of familial lineage. In some cultures, identical tattoos were applied on the fingers of a man and woman to serve as a wedding ring. They were applied in a very primitive, and quite painful, manner via sticks, combs, needles made of bone, or styluses and utilized inks made from natural dye sources.