Native American Tattoos Meaning, Design & Ideas

In the Americas, there have been more Native American tattoos put on the skin than any other type of design out there. With that in mind, it might come as a surprise that many of those same designs that were on Native Americans hundreds of years ago are still quite popular today.

In fact, a few of them aren’t even really thought of as “Native American” tattoos anymore because they are worn by so many people from many different backgrounds. On this page we will take a look at some of those Native American tattoos and why they might be the right designs for you.

The Feather

The feather, which you will find in many Native American tattoos, is the ultimate symbol of honor to just about every tribe that has ever existed. It’s a way to honor the gods, but most people get feather tattoos to honor those who came before them. Not only is the feather a very meaningful Native American symbol, it is also a very attractive design when done correctly. It works very well on its own as an arm tattoo, but it also looks just as good when combined with other Native American symbols. If you are thinking about getting some kind of Native American tattoo, then definitely consider the feather.

The Arrows

Arrows have long been used in Native American tattoos to represent defense and protection. It is a way for people to say that they both need protection and are willing to protect those around them. While arrows were always known for being Native American tattoos, they are now worn by people all over the world and still hold the same meanings. The number of arrows you get can change the meaning slightly, but in most cases people still get them to symbolize protection.

The Arrowhead

If you are looking for a tattoo to represent your alertness, then the arrowhead is the perfect Native American tattoo for you. It shows that the owners of these tattoos are always ready for whatever comes their way. This was obviously a very important symbol to Native Americans since they were often at war and needed to be aware of everything going on around them. The arrowhead tattoo is an excellent small design for the hand, forearm, or even the foot.

The Headdress

The headdress, also known as the war bonnet, has always been worn by leaders of Native American tribes, so they symbolize both power and honor. Not only are headdress tattoos a great way to honor your ancestors, but they are also amazing-looking designs that can be customized in many different ways. You can opt for a more classic-looking war bonnet, or you can make it your own by mixing in different feather types and colors.

The War Paint

War paint tattoos are a great way to show the specific tribe that your ancestors were in. Each had its own colors and styles, so some people choose to get war paint on their arms, legs, or anywhere else they think it will look good. The key with these Native American tattoos is to make the designs look like real paint rather than just getting straight lines of color.

The Dreamcatcher

The dreamcatcher is a classic tool used by Native American tribes for catching their bad dreams and only allowing the good ones to come through. Today people get them in tattoo form as a symbol of protection. They happen to be some of the most popular Native American tattoos today not only for their very strong meanings but also because they make for some beautiful tattoo designs.

The Native American Chief

If you want to go with a more detailed Native American tattoo, then you might want to look into getting a Native American chief design. This is not the type of design that you’ll want to customize too much, though, since you are honoring a human being. Most people choose to get chiefs that are well-known in their family’s tribes, while others choose chiefs that were more closely associated with their families in some way.

The Teepee

The teepee was what protected Native American tribes from the elements and where they got to be with their families, so it’s no surprise that the teepee is a very popular Native American tattoo design. This is a great tattoo to get if you want something that symbolizes both family and protection. Unlike many of the other Native American tattoos mentioned on this page, the teepee can look great basically anywhere on the body.

The Animal

Unlike some other animal tattoos, animals in Native American tattoos are usually just a show of respect towards that animal rather than holding extra meanings. Native Americans respect and even worship many creatures found in nature, so these aren’t the types of animal tattoos that you mess around with too much. Bears, eagles, falcons, foxes, horses, and snakes are just some of the animals that you can add to your Native American tattoo design.

The Native American Historical Scenes

Rather than just getting a single symbol in your tattoo, you might instead want to go all out with a famous Native American moment from the past. If you want to get a Native American historical scene tattooed on you, then you should definitely consider getting it as a back tattoo. This will give you a large canvas to work with so you don’t have to squeeze everything into the image. It also means that you have a flatter surface so the entire scene will be in view when someone is looking at it from behind you.

The Sleeve

Another way to combine a bunch of great Native American tattoos into a single design is to mix a bunch of your favorite Native American symbols into a sleeve tattoo. These are definitely not easy to design since you need to make sure that it looks good from every angle, but the added work you put into it will make it that much more rewarding when the tattoo is finally on your arm.

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