15 Tribal Shoulder Tattoo Designs That Will Completely Stun You

Tribal native American shoulder tattoo
Tribal tattoos with their dark and bold patterns are instant eye-catchers. To add to it, if they are placed on an area such as the shoulder, their meaning is even more pronounced.
❝Ötzi the Iceman is the oldest natural mummy ever discovered in Europe (he was found between Austria and Italy), and is believed to have lived around 5,200 years ago. After observing his tattooed body, some researchers believe his markings may have had medical significance, as they bear a "striking proximity" to the locations of the body's acupuncture points.❞
― FOX News Magazine
Tattooing has become one of the hottest methods of expressing one's beliefs. Tattoos were basically done for identification and communication, since language was not properly developed. But these days, they have become a part of the fashion industry with a huge fan following. Tattoos have fascinated people with their beautiful designs and mystical meanings. And among the different types of themes that exist, tribal tattoos hold a great deal of significance due to their historical roots.

Any tattoo that is a part of the culture of any tribe, belongs to the tribal theme. For any specific tribe, tattoos were meant for personal identification, and religious or social status. Some tribes also believed that tattooing could help an individual join the same cult in his/her next life. Some also got them done as they believed that these marks had magical powers. They considered that the powerful traits of the element inked were transmitted to the tattoo bearer. For example, if an individual had a wolf tattoo, then he/she bore the powers and characteristics of a wolf.
15 Amazingly Done Tribal Tattoos on Shoulder
Tribal tattoos are generally full-scale, with dark colors and intense bold patterns. Shoulders provide a large canvas to this theme, and hence make an ideal placement for inking these designs. A shoulder tattoo is the one that is inked either on the back of the shoulder (the shoulder blade) and extends to the biceps, or, it can also extend towards the chest area, originating from a sleeve tattoo. The following samples will help you see a few placement styles and designs pertaining to this theme.
Some Tips to Help You Get Going
❂ Tattoos were perhaps the very first 'makeup' that touched human skin. Maintain that authenticity and honor while inking a design that belongs to this theme.

❂ Don't be afraid to 'mix and match'! So what if African and Mayan cultures are way different? If you somehow like both, and feel that the melange would create a unique meaningful and aesthetic design, go ahead.
❂ No, it is not forbidden to ink any tribal design other than your own. If you can relate to a tribe's beliefs, showcase them through your tattoo, out to the world. For example, many people from different cultures are intrigued by the concept of animal spirits, reincarnations, totems, etc. These form an integral part of the tribal theme in tattoo art.
❂ The shoulder is a significant part of the body, not only when it comes to the area, but also the symbolism. 'You carry responsibilities on your shoulders'. In reference to this theme, you carry the cultural values and beliefs associated with the chosen design.

❂ Most importantly, choose a design that contains elements that add to your persona, that motivate or bring about that source of strength and power in your life. After all, that's what a tribe did for its members, didn't it?
There are numerous tribes, known and unknown, that have been a part of this world. Not many of us know of our ancestry, or, if our forefathers were once members of some tribe whose origin has been lost with time. In the midst of all this, this tattoo serves well for us to be reminded, that no matter how high we soar with technology and civilization, the origin of it lies in the roots of the long-forgotten ancient tribes.