Top 5 Native American Tattoo Elements

21inkedd in Tattoo Ideas

Let's take a closer look at those symbolic elements that create awesome native American tattoos.

The history of the Native American is arguably a journey of much turmoil, yet the power of their culture and traditions has stood the test of time and even today is thriving in a number of areas, such as in tattooing. It is no secret that the Native American way of life is steeped in symbolic meaning and respect for the natural world, two things that can make for some awesome tattoos.

1) The Eagle

Simply the king of all birds, the eagle is a symbol of power, strength, glory, and, for some Native American tribes, was also a symbol for medicine and healing. You can't go wrong with a big old eagle chest piece!


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    2) Totem Pole

    Recent from Tattoo Ideas

    The totem pole is a globally recognised Native American symbol and in tattooing can be a deeply personal tattoo. The totem pole is made from a number of animals and humans (totems) stacked on top of each other, each with a different meaning varying from family history to events witnessed. When stacked the totems tell a story; usually one unique to the person and as such are a incredibly individual tattoo.

    Haida Totem Pole Piece - Artist Unknown
    Haida Totem Pole Piece - Artist Unknown

    3) Feathers

    Commonly a feature of Native American headdresses the feather acts as a sign of lightness, what lifts to the sky and ascent to the spiritual world. Within some specific tribes the feather was also worn as a reminder of an act of bravery performed by the individual... So what will your feather represent?

    Native American Feather Piece - Artist Unknown
    Native American Feather Piece - Artist Unknown

    4) Dreamcatchers

    Possibly the most recognised Native American tattoo the dreamcatcher does exactly what it catches dreams, though only the bad dreams, the catcher holds the bad dreams until the morning where they perish in the first sunlight. The good dreams are filtered through the centre whole and passed to the sleeping individual.

    Dreamcatcher piece done by Tim Hendricks on NY Ink
    Dreamcatcher piece done by Tim Hendricks on NY Ink

    5) Native American Indian Head

    Arguably a very Native American tattoo but with little meaning to Native American culture tattoos of Native American heads are a common sight, usually worn by a non-Native American the tattoos are a sign of respect, they show a recognition of the Native American struggle and acceptance of Native American culture as a part of modern society. The tattoos most commonly feature the head of a brave or chief in traditional attire.

    Native American Indian Head by Dmitriy Samohin
    Native American Indian Head by Dmitriy Samohin


    @Robert Davies

    Tattoodo Staff Writer and tattoo enthusiast. Lover of all things traditional and blackwork!


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