Ethnic Tattoo And Its Influences

jentheripper in Tattoo Ideas

They are often called Tribal or Traditional. A more accurate term would be Ethnic tattoos.

The roots of ethnic tattoo art can be found in numerous ethnic groups across the planet and History, including Ancient Egyptians, Vikings, Gallics, Celts, Inuits and many other cultures from Borneo, Thailand, North Africa, Philippines, and indeed Pacific islands, the most influential.
The word tattoo is coming from Polynesian word tatau. Tatau is a very strong tradition is Polynesia, linked to ancient beliefs and sacred things. The designs were telling the stories of their owner, and sometimes indicating their place in society, just as a physical ID. It was also a rite of passage, from childhood to adulthood. The tatau art has been brought to the islands by the migrations from Southeast Asia and then developed differently on each of them in a sort of endemic way. Many of the small islands have then lost their traditional tattoo art, and the Christian evangelization also contributed to the disappearance of the tattoo's practice. But, fortunately, thanks to the work of ethnologists and tattoo enthusiasts, ethnic tattoo is knowing a revival, winning back its place in Polynesian society and in global tattoo art.

This leaded to the different Polynesian styles we know today : the Maori (from New Zealand), the Samoa, the Hawaiian (from Hawaii), the Tahitian (from Tahiti) and the Marquesan (from Marquesan Islands). As the islands are now open to other cultures, the different styles are mixing, becoming more adapted to modernity and gaining in elegance. If the neo-tribal, a 90s trend from the United States, inspired by the style of Borneo was not the best example of the gift of ethnic tattoo in contemporary tattoo, the revival now allows beautiful and impressive designs. Not only coveted in the islands, artists and clients all over the world are feeling connections with the ethnic cultures and aesthetic. Natives sometimes consider it as tacky, but fans can also show a lot of respect to their traditions. Some forgotten practices are even waking up, such as Vikings and real Celtic tattoos.

Ethnic tattoos are now a reference and source of inspiration for rising styles such as geometric, dotwork and blackwork. Either you want to carry on the traditions of your ancestors or just because you are a passionate of tattoo art, check this selection of beautiful ethnic inspired tattoos.

A great thanks to Manu Farrarons, tattoo artist based in Tahiti and specialist in Polynesian style, for sharing his knowledge and passion.

Brice from French shop La Cour des Miracles is one of the heir of Samoan, Marquesan and Polynesian tattoo arts.
Brice from French shop La Cour des Miracles is one of the heir of Samoan, Marquesan and Polynesian tattoo arts.
Davide Rajola, more renown as Budda Tattoo, is an Italian artist willing to keep the traditions of Oceania alive.
Davide Rajola, more renown as Budda Tattoo, is an Italian artist willing to keep the traditions of Oceania alive.
A beautiful example of Samoan spine tattoo. Unfortunately, the name of the artist has been lost by Google so tell us if you know.
A beautiful example of Samoan spine tattoo. Unfortunately, the name of the artist has been lost by Google so tell us if you know.

Recent from Tattoo Ideas

Artist Chimé is keeping the Tahiti Tatau alive.
Artist Chimé is keeping the Tahiti Tatau alive.
American artist Colin Dale mixes Polynesian and Northwest Coast styles.
American artist Colin Dale mixes Polynesian and Northwest Coast styles.
American artist Daemon Rowanchilde likes to include forgotten ethnic designs in his tattoos as this one inspired by the Shipibo tribe from Peru.
American artist Daemon Rowanchilde likes to include forgotten ethnic designs in his tattoos as this one inspired by the Shipibo tribe from Peru.
Belgian artist Dan Di Mattia is famous worldwide for his neo-tribal with many inspirations, from South America, Africa, India, South Pacific and Middle-Age.
Belgian artist Dan Di Mattia is famous worldwide for his neo-tribal with many inspirations, from South America, Africa, India, South Pacific and Middle-Age.
Model with Polynesian tattoo, byDavid Arnal Photography.
Model with Polynesian tattoo, byDavid Arnal Photography.
Work by Eukarezt from Hawaii.
Work by Eukarezt from Hawaii.
Ethnic tattoos on the leg and arm of a woman. Please tell us who are the artist and photographer.
Ethnic tattoos on the leg and arm of a woman. Please tell us who are the artist and photographer.
Gael Ricci is a French dotwork artist and this piece shows strong influences of ethnic tattoo.
Gael Ricci is a French dotwork artist and this piece shows strong influences of ethnic tattoo.
German tattoo artist Gerhard Wiesbeck is one of the famous names of geometric and blackwork, the heir of ethnic tattoo in contemporary world.
German tattoo artist Gerhard Wiesbeck is one of the famous names of geometric and blackwork, the heir of ethnic tattoo in contemporary world.
The Haida Tattoo is a Native ethnic style of the Northwest Coast of America. Tell us who is the artist please.
The Haida Tattoo is a Native ethnic style of the Northwest Coast of America. Tell us who is the artist please.
Jeroen Franken from Netherlands is creating impressive pieces inspired by Pacific's cultures and beyond.
Jeroen Franken from Netherlands is creating impressive pieces inspired by Pacific's cultures and beyond.
Thierry Magnati is a Polynesian artist based in France.
Thierry Magnati is a Polynesian artist based in France.
Another piece by Thierry made on this shop Mana'o Tiki Tattoo.
Another piece by Thierry made on this shop Mana'o Tiki Tattoo.
You all know the tribal neck tattoo of model Teya Salat. Like it or dislike it?
You all know the tribal neck tattoo of model Teya Salat. Like it or dislike it?
This tattoo by Manu Farrarons is gorgeous, love how it includes an old tattoo.
This tattoo by Manu Farrarons is gorgeous, love how it includes an old tattoo.
Another tatau by Manu Farrarons, creating a garter effect.
Another tatau by Manu Farrarons, creating a garter effect.
Michael Fatutoa aka Samoan Mike is indeed doing Samoan tattoos.
Michael Fatutoa aka Samoan Mike is indeed doing Samoan tattoos.
Tattoo by Nicola Chiumento.
Tattoo by Nicola Chiumento.
Ethnic tattoos are bold assets for photography. This picture is the work of Krijn van Noordwijk.
Ethnic tattoos are bold assets for photography. This picture is the work of Krijn van Noordwijk.
Pili Mo'o is an International awarded Samoan and Polynesian tattoo artist.
Pili Mo'o is an International awarded Samoan and Polynesian tattoo artist.
Pili Mo'o
Pili Mo'o
Pili Mo'o
Pili Mo'o
Ethnic tattoo
Ethnic tattoo
Samoan Mike at Sacred Center
Samoan Mike at Sacred Center
Styles collide: Japanese master Shige has made a fusion Hannya tattoo with a tribal part.
Styles collide: Japanese master Shige has made a fusion Hannya tattoo with a tribal part.
Steve Looney is a world-renown tattoo artist exploring the contemporary ethnic tattoo.
Steve Looney is a world-renown tattoo artist exploring the contemporary ethnic tattoo.
Ethnic tattoo
Ethnic tattoo
Te Mana Tattoo from France is doing Marquesan style pieces.
Te Mana Tattoo from France is doing Marquesan style pieces.
Ethnic tattoo
Ethnic tattoo
Peter Madsen is a Danish artist reviving the Viking ethnic tattoo art.
Peter Madsen is a Danish artist reviving the Viking ethnic tattoo art.

jentheripper

@JenTheRipper

Writer for art related medias. Fell in love with tattoo while researching for another passion, crime history. Travelling, admiring, sharing.

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