The most common Tribal Tats found today dates back to the polynesians who used black, geometric tatau ornaments which appeared to be silhouette-like in many ways. In Europe, sailors were attributed for the earliest Tribal Tat ideas - they originated from Tahiti and were added together with the sailors' own maritime-themed designs. Over the years, they have evolved to become what is known as traditional tattoos.
Over in America, Leo Zulueta and Don Ed Hardy, an innovator, were both responsible for an exciting Tribal Tats boom in 1982 when they started "Tattoo Time", a magazine on tattoos. Featuring native Borneo and Samoan tattoos, it quickly popularized these tattoo ideas as a form of interesting tattoo style and design.
As illustrated from above, these modern day tattoos have strong ties and affiliation with natives and tribes from different parts of the world. It was from there that they slowly evolved into the Tribal Tattoo ideas we have today. Although it has been said that a handful of tattoo parlors and tattoo artists would turn down tribal tattoo designs due to their simplicity, a lot of tattoo enthusiasts begs to differ. Tribal Tats, as a matter of fact, needs articulate skill to be tattooed on the difficult body parts in order for it to look naturally "grown". In addition, it has also been said that the coloring of these tattoos requires a steady hand.
You can find an assortment of tribal tat ideas ranging from tribal armbands, flames, black, crosses, stars, tigers and an assortment of motives and designs that are based on tribal motives. Personally, I have 3 tribal tattoos tattooed on different parts of my hands - one of a tribal flame on my right shoulder, one of a tribal motive which I designed on my left shoulder and another circular tribal design on my right wrist.