The Big Five Africa Tattoos

In Africa, tattoos hold much more significance than just aesthetic appeal.  They serve a purpose, such as curing disease.  And shielding against spirits and showing tribal affiliation.

South Africa’s traditional arts and studios are still revered today.  Unfortunately, the turbulent biker gang era has profoundly affected this industry.


Fulani is a nomadic cattle-herding tribe.  That roams the African savannah for rain and grazing lands.  They are credited with creating some of Africa’s earliest tattooing techniques.  And some stunning examples on display.  Indeed, some of the world’s top tattoo experts have been dubbed “Fulani royalty”.  An honour bestowed upon those with dedication and skill in this art form.

The glamorous Tattoos adorning many African men’s bodies are the most alluring follicles.  But none quite compare to the socio-goal.  An intricate design spanning multiple layers of skin is the finest example in West Africa.


Makonde is a fierce warrior.  An accomplished wood carver boasts traditional tribal tattoos.  That has remained unchanged throughout history.

Tattoo designs often feature lines, acute angles and dots.  And animals or plants as motifs and patterns.  While most of these Tattoos are found on the face.  Some can also be found elsewhere on the body.

Some motifs, such as palm fronds on a woman’s upper lip.  And labret, or forehead, may be symbolic.  These designs are believed to possess magical powers which promote fertility.  And protect individuals from evil spirits.

Another popular decorative motif is lizards on the chest and back.  This symbolism is believed to be an omen of good health for men.  Virility for women and fertility for both genders.


Africa is one of the world’s most beautiful continents.  Boasting its rich history and unique outlook on life.  And the natural connection to animals and nature.  This region’s culture is ideal for tribal Tattoo.  And body art – something to treasure forever.

African tribes have used tattooing.  And scarification for thousands of years as decorative art and a form of healing.  These techniques could also indicate social status.  And demonstrate loyalty towards their tribe.

Tattoos were long thought to protect women and children.  Additionally, they served as a symbol of womanhood.  It provides women with an identity.

Wodaabe women adorned their abdomen.   And inner thighs with tattoos.  Which they believed made them more desirable to men.  Additionally, these markings were thought to bring fertility and attract husbands.

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