Ink With Meaning: 3 Popular Types of Tribal Tattoos in San Diego CA

Tribal tattoos continue to be very popular in San Diego. They look great on any skin tone and allow ink enthusiasts to covey personal messages through their unique meanings. If you’re considering getting some Tribal Tattoos in San Diego CA, it’s best to stick to designs inspired by one particular tribe or people. Below are some of the most common types of tribal art that influence modern tattooing.


Inspired by the artwork of the ancient Celtic people in what is today Great Britain, Celtic Tribal Tattoos feature ornate knotting, elaborate spirals, and interlacing patterns used in clovers, crosses and other designs. Celtic knot-work is especially interesting because the designs have no discernible beginning or end–they’re actually complete loops. Animal figures are also popular in Celtic tattooing; the red dragon plays heavy in Welsh history and the lion is featured on Scotland’s flag. Today, many people of Scottish, Irish and Welsh descent get Celtic Tribal Tattoos in San Diego CA as a way to show pride in their rich ancestry.


Ancient Polynesian culture had no written language, so tattoos were used to relay spirituality, social status and family history. They were also seen as a rite of passage and a great mark of courage, making them a popular choice for ink aficionados today. The design themes of Polynesian tattoos featured heavy black ink blocking and highly symbolic designs. Some popular Polynesian designs elements included sharks and shark teeth for protection, highly stylized turtles for longevity and ocean waves to symbolize spirituality or the afterlife. Although today these designs can be used independently, traditionally they were often merged together into highly personal tattoos that covered a large portion of the body.

Australian Aboriginal

Much like the Polynesian people, the aboriginal people of Australia used their tattoos to tell a story about themselves, their families and their tribe. Aboriginal tribal tattoos featured heavy dot-work that had a special, secret meaning to each individual clan. The native Australian people were also heavily interested in dreams and nature, and their tattoo art reflected this with appropriate symbols. Today, tattoo artists pay homage to traditional Aboriginal design by creating heavily-dotted tattoos of birds, fish and land animals like kangaroos.

Tribal tattoos are a great way to create a highly personal work of art on your body.

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