Tribal tattoo designs can be found in historical literature such as articles, books, legitimate websites and other texts that speak on tribal identification, warfare and worship. The term 'tribal' can refer to regions literally around the world. Therefore, as Native Languages suggests, it is key to understand what specific tribe is desired to be represented. A narrowed search with as many distinct terms as possible is best.
As Men's Tattoo Designs explains, many tribes were identified by their inked markings, and a man's or women's individuality could be easily understood based solely on his or her markings. Tattoos have a deep historical significance and were rarely given for the singular purpose of decoration. Tribe members showing animal tattoos were thought to embody the significance of that animal, whether that animal symbolized strength, courage, loyalty or any number of other qualities a member of a tribe wishes to embody to better his or her community. Other designs can signify peace, tranquility, unity or other philosophies the tribe holds.
Because tribal tattoo history is so long, evolution in designs have inevitably occurred. The Vanishing Tattoo illustrates how authentic tribal designs were made up of simple repetitive patterns and uncomplicated symbols. Today, tattoo artists are capable of much more involved, and less painful, work. Where to find the permanent, fitting, tribal tattoo depends on the legitimacy that is wished to be represented.