The fact that tribal tattoos are popular with celebrities means that without a doubt they are popular with the general public.
Of course, tribal tattoos didn’t start off in the public’s eye.
Tribal tattoos were originally worn by those who are part of a tribe and their wearing of the tribal tattoo meant certain things within their own tribe and to others who they meet.
Let’s go a little more in-depth into what tribal tattoos mean before we discuss the who’s who that wear them:
What Are Tribal Tattoos?
Tribal tattoos, though not so much today, are favored by those who have a lot of masculinity.
Going back to the Bronze Age, warriors wore tribal tattoos to indicate which tribe they were a part of or to ward off those from other tribes.
Today, tribal tattoos are a well-earned favorite in the tattoo world, as people are drawn to their bold lines as well as their cultural significance.
Not only are they beautiful pieces of tattoo art, but they connect us with people hundreds of years before our time.
Why Do Celebrities Have Tribal Tattoos?
Since the ’90s happened, and tribal tattoos started to become popular past their original significance in tribes, celebs have been getting tribal tattoos to show off their amazing bodies and impeccable style.
Perhaps the most famous celebrity with tribal tattoos is Rihanna, who has multiple, but there are countless others who have many tribal tattoos and wear them for the world to see.
We have picked 23 famous celebrities with tribal tattoos and brought them to you to find inspiration from:
- Jason Momoa
Jason Momoa is an American actor who got his start in his role in “Baywatch: Hawaii”.
Since then, he has achieved fame for being in the first two seasons of “Game of Thrones”.
Jason has a large and thick Hawaiian tribal tattoo that is comprised of many black inked triangles in rows set on top of one another.
This tattoo is both striking and works well with his laid-back edgy style.
- Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Who doesn’t love The Rock?
Dwane the Rock Johnson is an American actor, businessman, and former professional wrestler who is one of the richest actors in the world– his films gross in the billions.
His Polynesian tribal tattoo is a sleeve that goes into covering the left side of his chest.
His tribal tattoo includes a symbolic sun and many other shapes and patterns.
Rihanna’s many tribal tattoos mix well with her no-good attitude and offbeat style.
Not only does she have tribal tattoos behind her ear and on her wrist as we see here, but the entirety of one of her hands is covered in a tribal tattoo that kind of looks like she got henna done but permanently.
Many people have copied Rihanna’s tribal tattoos and are fanatics about them, and for good reason.
Her fabulous tribal tattoos, especially the ones on her hand, are incredibly beautiful.
- Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks won the sixth season of American Idol at 17 years old, becoming the youngest winner in the show’s history.
Since then, she has become a singer-songwriter and actress.
She is perhaps best known for her song “No Air,” with which she collaborated with Chris Brown.
Her tribal tattoo is fun and feminine, emphasizing her personal creativity and sense of adventure.
- Daniella Pineda
Daniella Pineda is an American actress perhaps best known for being on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals.
Her tribal tattoo looks like shrunken heads or various faces in a line and overlapping each other.
Her tattoo most likely is for aesthetic purposes only, but it could have a personal meaning to her.
- Teyana Taylor
Teyana is famed for being an American singer-songwriter, actress, dancer, and model.
This photo is of her walking in New York Fashion Week in 2017.
She has written for many famous singers, and was featured on Kanye’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”.
Her tribal tattoos are on the side of her leg reaching upwards towards her hip.
Some of her tattoos are even hidden beneath her underwear line.
Her tribal tattoos are rhythmic and patterned in short sharp lines.
- Jessica Shears
Jessica Shears is a model, actress, and TV personality.
She is famous for being part of the British TV show Love Island.
She is known for being a model who is proud to have curves rather than being rail-thin.
Her tribal tattoos are on her forearm and are one symmetrical ornamental tattoo that is filled in with circles and swirls.
Her tribal tattoo is highly feminine and is reminiscent of henna tattoos.
- Jaira Burns
Jaira Burns is an American singer-songwriter who began her career by uploading her songs to Youtube.
Her single “Ugly,” was featured in a commercial starring Kylie Jenner.
Jaira has tribal tattoos on her forearm reaching around to her wrist, as well as on the top of her middle finger.
The tribal tattoos on her forearm have her name incased in various swirls and lines.
Jain, given name Jeanne Louise Galice, is a French singer-songwriter who was invited to Paris and received a manager named Yodelice and has released two albums since.
She has performed on shows such as “The Late Night Show with Steven Colbert”.
Her tribal tattoo is three dots above some simple line work, all in black ink.
- Ruby Rose
Ruby Rose is an Australian model, actress, and television presenter.
She is known for being the face of Maybelline New York Australia, and for co-hosting America’s Next Top Model Australia.
Ruby has many tattoos and is practically covered– but somehow, her tribal tattoo on her lower back stands out.
The tattoo is black symmetrical lines with a red rose in the center, probably standing for her name.
This tattoo is in a 90’s biker girl style and is highly influential.
- Adriana Lima
Best known for being a Victoria’s Secret Angel, the Brazilian model, and actress is one of the most popular and most profitable models in the world.
Adriana’s tribal tattoo is on her foot in between the top of her foot and her ankle.
It contains many tribal swirls and shapes arranged in an S-shaped curve, with a North Star placed inside the curve.
- Cheryl Cole
Cheryl Cole is an English singer and Television Personality who has had five separate songs at the top of the UK singles charts.
She is known for her pop songs, sometimes verging on electronic.
Her tribal tattoo is on the side of her hand and is comprised of two symmetrical swirls facing outwards from each other with small dots, as well as some asymmetrical shapes above these swirls.
- Eva Marcille
Eva Marcille is an American actress, fashion model, and television personality.
She is perhaps
best known for winning cycle three of American’s Next Top Model.
Her tribal tattoo is on the top
of her left foot and is beautiful.
The tattoo looks like a swirling wind in a furious breeze.
- India Westbrooks
India is an American internet personality and reality TV star.
She is best known for being part of the reality TV show “The Westbrooks,” which follows her and her sisters, who first became famous through social media.
Her many tribal tattoos on her hands, fingers, and wrist, are highly patterned and are mostly comprised of many connected lines.
She also has more tribal tattoos on her other hand which cover her fingers and wrap around her wrist.
- Eliza Gonzales
Eliza Gonzales is a Mexican actress and singer who has performed in famous Mexican musicals as well as appeared on Nickolodeon.
Her tribal tattoo is on top of her right foot and is a tree symbol with symbolic leaves going every direction around a line and surrounded by a line.
This tattoo could represent new beginnings and an appreciation for nature.
This singer-songwriter is known for her work in the dance music industry.
In an interview she did with Las Vegas Weekly in 2009, she explained how hard it was to stand out on the dance music scene when producers often get all of the credit.
She has a medium-sized tribal tattoo on her arm which is symmetrical with many pointed objects facing outward with a pattern inside.
- Blac Chyna
Blac Chyna is an American model and socialite who has worked with Nicki Minaj and Kanye as well as being mentioned in songs by Drake.
She also has her own reality TV show “Rob & Chyna,” and The Real Black Chyna.”
Her tribal tattoo is a red one on her hand which looks a lot like henna and is made up of tiny circles forming a larger pattern.
She also has a tribal tattoo on her other hand which looks like waves.
- Debra Wilson
Debra Wilson is an American actress, comedienne, and television presenter famous for being a long-time cast member on Mad TV and for doing voice work for “American Dad!,” Family Guy, Avatar, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Her tribal tattoos are incorporated into both of her sleeves, each on her forearms, displaying sharp shapes with large thick lines.
She also has similarly designed tribal tattoos worked into the many tattoos on her lower legs and calves, as well as tribal tattoos on the back of her hips.
- Jemima Kirke
Jemima Kirke is an English-American artist, actress, and director who starred on the HBO series “Girls,” and who has directed a few Indie movies.
Jemima has many modern-style tattoos that on her forearm are mixed with some tribal tattoos.
Her tribal tattoos are a feathered arrow, a string of interesting symbols that look like a language, and three triangular lines with a crown symbol at the top and center.
- Niki Taylor
Niki Taylor is an American supermodel and television presenter who was first photographed for Vogue at only age 15, making her the second-youngest model ever to grace the pages of the magazine.
Among having a contract with CoverGirl and being featured in many ad campaigns, she was actually featured on six hug billboard in NYC’s Times Square.
Her tribal tattoos on her arm are thick and dark appearing as though mimicking lace.
- Charli Baltimore
Charli Baltimore is an American rapper, reality television personality, and actress.
She is also known for being one of The Notorious B.I.G.’s girlfriends.
He always encouraged her to continue her rap career, which took off in the early 2000s and the tar even received a Grammy nomination.
Charli’s tribal tattoos are symmetrically placed above her breasts and a four-pointed shapes that are in a 90’s style.
SoShy is a French singer-songwriter, actress, DJ, and model.
Her tribal tattoos are all over her body, reaching from her wrist all the way to her back.
Her tribal tattoos look like small blades that are fierce and independent, while her name is shown prominently on her arm in between the patterns.
- Melanie Brown
Melanie Brown, or Mel B, is an Engish singer, actress, and TV personality.
She was part of the Spice Girls, which was the best-selling female group of all time.
Her tribal tattoo is medium-sized on her arm and looks like a long flying bird with wide-open wings.
So Who Wants a Tribal Tattoo, Anyways?
All these celebrities with tribal tattoos may make you want to get one yourself.
That would be understandable since so much fame is attached to it.
These tattoos are highly popular, and as you can see, the newer celebrities wearing them show tattoos with a kind of henna-looking tribal tattoo style.
Whichever type of tribal tattoo you choose, you won’t be alone in having one.
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Alyssa Renee Hardy is a writer, curator, and photographer who publishes articles on the topics of the arts, culture, and social justice. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in fashion business and art history and museum professions. Her experience working with a variety of art institutions, her world travel, and her inquisitive nature provides her with a unique insight. Check out her about page, she would love to connect with you!