Top 77 Taino Tribal Tattoo Ideas [2022 Inspiration Guide]
Cultural exoticism is enshrined by the inspirational oomph of Taino tattoos. These enigmatic indigenous designs contain serious might via their ancient origins and stunning nature.
For viscerally auspicious flair, nothing can triumph over the marvels of Taino ink.
This ancient artistry stems from an aboriginal group known as the Arawak people. These proud warriors hailed from the Caribbean islands during the 15th century, and their startling tribal imagery lives in infamy to this day. These immortal creations are capable of summarizing every element of humanity’s spiritual existence.
The legacy of Taino tattoos is most visible in the history of Puerto Rico. This island’s official logo is actually comprised of the tribe’s unique artwork. The coqui is an undying emblem of pride and patriotism for inhabitants of this nation, and it revolves around a symmetrical combination of the sun and a frog.
Taino tattoos also may incorporate some of the gods that are integral to Arawak folklore. These daring depictions summon the unfathomable energy of a long-lost shamanistic practice. Other recurring icons include eternally entwined lovers and the duality of twins. Tons of local creatures have also been replicated in their one-of-a-kind style.
Get in touch with a legendarily exquisite heritage by perusing the following library of tantalizing Taino tattoos!
This large black and gray should and chest tattoo uses a number of different Taino designs to create an interesting piece. Well saturated black ink is used for the background of this piece which increases definition and helps the negative space elements pop. The Taino Sun God is represented on the chest by the artist using well applied stipple shading to create stylistic contrast to good effect. Above the sun is a negative space frog, another key character in the Taino mythos. The inclusion of the familiar thatched palm pattern adds another layer to this interesting piece and helps to complete this Taino tattoo.
These simple black tattoos are clean, well-executed examples of traditional Taino pictographs. The first piece is a bird, often associated masculine traits like strength and bravery, and the other is a frog, a common character in Taino myths. The black ink is fully saturated contrasting nicely against the wearer’s skin tone and helping these designs stand out. The outlines are clean and precise, giving the impression that these small tattoos were stamped on. The lovely little tattoos will serve as a permanent reminder of the wearer’s cultural heritage.
This shoulder piece uses black and gray shading as well as a bright but limited color palette to create an interesting Taino inspired tattoo. The Sun God is on display, but here the artist uses black and gray shading as well as line work and white ink for highlights, to effectively create the impression that the design is carved from stone. This technique works well and references the Taino’s traditional use of petroglyphs. The addition of a Coqiu frog—a native Puerto Rican species that is often depicted in Taino art—using red, black and white provides a contrast with the other portions of the tattoo and almost gives the appearance of three dimensions.
This is an interesting black and gray piece the uses Taino imagery and incorporates other tribal patterns. At the center of this chest piece is a stylized adaptation of the pictograph representing the Taino Sun God. The large thatched design within the sun uses black and gray shading to create texture and is reminiscent of the layered palm fronds that are used so extensively in tropical regions. The other prominent feature in this tattoo is the way the top of the piece extends around and over the shoulder, invoking images of the tail of a snake or gecko. This piece is a good example of how Taino imagery can be incorporated with other tribal elements to great effect.
Here is an interesting tattoo inspired by the Taino story of the ceiba tree and its mythical power. The artist uses elements of new-school designs like an illustrative style, bright colors, and bold but limited line work. Excellent black and gray shading is applied to create the gnarled and twisting trunk of the tree which contains different Taino characters within it: the majority of the tree is made of a grimacing mask but there are also a sun and frog hiding in the details. The piece is completed with well-executed watercolor style foliage in red, orange and yellow really helping the entire tattoo to pop.
Taino Tattoos FAQ’s
Did the Tainos have tattoos?
The original inhabitants of the Caribbean region of North America were a people called the Taino. While they didn’t have a written language in the classical sense, their vibrant culture was shared through the use of pictographs and petroglyphs that were masterfully drawn and etched into the rocks and trees around them, as well as tattooed on their skin. These unique designs told the story of the Taino’s profound relationship with the natural world around them and heavily featured the animals that were so essential to everyday life.
These tattoos were used by Taino men as a way to utilize the power associated with these animals. Along with the animalistic designs, Taino tattoos also utilized different geometric patterns that played roles in their cosmology and creation myths. One of the most important of these pieces is the Sun.
What does the Taino sun mean?
The sun is perhaps the most significant aspect of Taino culture and mythology, and as such it features heavily in the artwork of this fierce island people. Also known as “El Sol de Jayuya”, this design got its name from the town in Puerto Rico where it was found and represents the Sun God in Taino tradition. The most important deity in daily life, for the Taino the sun was a powerful god that lived in the cave of Mautiatibuel along with the moon, and provided the people with life, strength and health as well as sustaining the agriculture central to island life. Without the sun the plants wouldn’t grow, they couldn’t catch fish and life for the Tainos would grind to a halt; it is no wonder this image was so prominently featured in their artistic traditions.