There are two main ways to approach a Native American or American Indian tattoo design, including traditional tribal designs associated with specific tribal groups and general iconography that is associated with Native American culture, including feathers and dream catchers. Tribal tattoos may require some research, particularly if the individual wants to get a tattoo design associated with a specific tribe. For example, the Cree tribe is associated with linear facial tattoos for women, while members of the Mohawk tribe may have had tattoos of animals such as turtles, wolves or bears, according to The Vanishing Tattoo.
Men and women who do not necessarily want to get a traditional tribal tattoo but instead want to get a Native-American-themed tattoo can choose an image that is traditionally associated with American Indians. Tattoos of men or women wearing a traditional feathered headdress are a popular design within the American classic tattoo style. Totem imagery and other Native art also often make suitable design inspiration for tattoos, states TattooEasily.
Individuals who are concerned about authenticity with a Native-inspired tattoo may want to find images generated by Native people, notes the Native Languages website. Asking a Native artist to draw a tattoo design can be one way to approach this. Many Native American tribes have distinctive alphabets and writing systems that can also provide an approach for individuals who want to get a respectful Native-inspired tattoo.