Tribal body art has been in huge demand with tattoo enthusiasts for decades now and while this was originally a very masculine choice, it continues to be immensely popular with both sexes so it can be difficult to find a design that is more unique. These are particularly favored for prominent body parts like the arm and back however tribal shoulder tattoos remain the number one choice for many. However, while many of these tattoos feature the much-used swirling spiral patterns of the Maoris or the geometrical shapes and symmetrical designs of the popular Hawaiian tribal art, there are a few other lesser known tribes whose artwork is not requested as frequently.
Off the coast of British Columbia in Canada, not far from Alaska, there lies a group of islands that were referred to by Europeans as the Queen Charlotte Islands. These have been inhabited for centuries by the Haida people however while little is known about the history of these islanders, prior to their discovery by white men in the early 19th century; they are believed to have originated from the Far East. While there is some speculation that they arrived from Japan on the currents of the Bering Straits, their own legend of a group of ancestors who survived a great flood in a distant land, arriving on this coast in a raft, certainly bares a resemblance to our own biblical tale of Noah’s Ark. Whatever the truth of their origins, there are no written records of the Haida tribes history so this is why their artwork has placed such a significant part in their existence. In days gone by, there were up to seven thousand Haida people, now there are just two small villages remaining so opting for this style of artwork for tribal shoulder tattoos also allows this ancient culture to live on. The designs used for Haida body art offer similar abstract illustrations of natural elements such as animals and plants much like any other tribal design however these is one distinct difference that makes this style stand out from the rest and that is the use of colored ink in these tattoos. Unlike most of the favored dark monochrome ink designs, the Haida images have a very distinguishing feature, and that is the infusion of red and turquoise inks to contrast with the black. Among the most popular images depicted in this way are the raven and the eagle, which were deemed by this tribe to be the most potent totems, as their beliefs deemed that every tribe member was descended from either one of these birds or their other.
The Haida tribal style is very detailed but if you prefer more simplistic designs for tribal shoulder tattoos then you could to find out more about the Timucua who inhabited the region we now known as the state of Florida and parts of Georgia for centuries. These indigenous people were a Native American Indian tribe who were renowned for being heavily tattooed. Their villages were split into clans and each clan was named after a totem animal and much of their artwork used in body art designs today features zoomorphic images and animals hunted by the tribe like the crocodile or shark although the style is much simpler in comparison to other more convoluted tribal artwork.