Tribal tattoos have been drawn onto the skin for many, many centuries, across many continents and cultures. The tattoos themselves are often black in color and involve thick black lines oriented in a mostly-symmetrical way. The designs can also involve certain symbols or occasionally incorporate characters from various Eastern languages. The difference between the tribal tattoos you see now and the ones that were inked into the skin of our tribal ancestors is, the ones we get now don't require performing certain heroic deeds to get them.
Regardless of a lack of actual tribal affiliation, these tattoos give the feeling of a more intense or primitive time from the past, where these markings were found on fearsome warriors and hunters, or to mark those with specific places in their society. And although the style of the designs are prominently masculine, they still have the ability of looking good on women as well, in the case of feminine tribal tattoos, sometimes using thinner, more delicate lines, and more feminine symbols like tribal butterflies and roses, often found on the shoulder or ankle, or even in a wider design along the lower back.
Tattoos of tribal stars and tribal sun designs are also quite popular. They give a more ancient nod to nature and look good alone and in conjunction. The sun designs have been known to look good around the navel, though just about anywhere else works, too. Because old tribal societies were connected to nature and the animal kingdom in ways that we ourselves are not, it is also quite common to add animals into these designs, such as bears, scorpions, wolves, or coyotes, depending on the mood the wearer is looking to bring about with their design.
Tribal dragon tattoos often look quite striking as well, making a beautiful design that adds a hint of fantasy and grandeur to an otherwise normal tribal tattoo. Depending on the shape and style, it can add a thicker aggressive tone, or more of a mystical one to the tattoo in question.
There are plenty of people who love the look of tribal tattoos and combine many of them into long, flowing tribal sleeve tattoos that take up most -- if not all -- of the tattooable space between the shoulder and the wrist. They can include many different styles, many different markings and designs, many different symbols with many different meanings.
So if you consider yourself more of the warrior type, aggressive and intense, or have a certain tribal feel to your personality, perhaps the tattoo you're looking for involves the crossing of well-placed curving black lines and the perfect symbols to let everyone know that you're human, but you're also in touch with the more primitive and animalistic sides of your nature.