Birds have long held a sacred symbolic space among all cultures, representing a variety of qualities and attributes according to their avian breed.
The most universal trait associated with birds is freedom, both physical and spiritual.
Tribal bird tattoos feature a number of elements unique to their origins, from ornate coloring to rudimentary outlining. The crow and the eagle are two of the more popular birds represented in Native American art, with ravens, hawks, and owls running a close second.
Some southern tribes worshiped a man-bird hybrid believed to reside among and protect the sun, moon, and stars, while the South Pacific manaia bird was thought by the Maori to be a messenger from heaven. The mythical thunderbird was also a frequent totem for warriors and tribal leaders, signifying valor, dominance, and nobility.
Depending on the wearer’s personal connection, tribal bird tattoos can be of any species and style, worn on various regions of the body to suit his preference. The bird is a powerful symbol not only of freedom, but of acting as messenger between this life and the otherworldly.
Wherever he goes, the man who honors the tribal bird in tattoo form is here to bridge the gap between our world and the next, and impart the wisdom and knowledge that is his birthright.