1) Identification. Each tribe and family has its own tattoo designs. Tribe members can identify each other by their tattoos - in this life and in the afterlife. Tribal tattoos tell a lot about the origin and the social background of the person who wears them.
2)Social status. The style and size of a tribal tattoo say a lot about a person’s social status in the group. A person with a big tattoo usually has a higher rank in the society compared to one with a simple tattoo.
3) Rite of passage. Getting a tattoo is part of the ritual that turns a boy into a man or a girl into a woman.
4) Magic, healing, and protection. Tribal tattoos were believed to have magical powers. For example, in some tribes, a boy is assigned a totem animal during his rites of passage. It is believed that the wearer inherits some of the powers of his totem animal by wearing a tattoo of the animal.
Usually tribal tattoos have a masculine energy about them because of their bold, thick lines. At the same time, they are versatile and they tend to look very good on women as well.