Top 41 Best Tribal Bear Tattoo Ideas – [2020 Inspiration Guide]
A bear tattoo does more than just show off your animalistic side. They contain a great deal of symbolism in traditional tribal tattoo design.
Many ancient cultures have legends that bears were connected to the spiritual world, and they are often tattooed as links to strength, ferocity in battle, healing, and bravery.
Norse mythology believed that Odin, the god of healing, knowledge, battle, sorcery, and death, was often accompanied by a bear, and the Native American Sioux have legends about a bear who traveled the world teaching the healing arts.
Though bears are often seen as wise sages, they can be ferocious warriors, melding traditional aspects of care, protection, and wisdom with characteristics of power, strength, and savagery.
Check out these top 41 tribal bear tattoo examples as inspiration for you next tattoo.
1. Tribal Bear Tattoo Ideas for the Back
2. Celtic Tribal Bear Tattoos
3. Black Ink Tribal Tattoo Designs
4. Forearm Tribal Bear Tattoo Ideas
5. Leg Tattoo Tribal Bear Art
6. Tribal Bear Paw Tattoos
7. Polynesian Bear Tattoos
8. Tribal Bear Tattoos for the Shoulder
9. Upper Arm Tribal Bear Tattoo Ideas
Tribal Bear Tattoo FAQs
Bear tattoo has traditionally symbolized strength, independence and courage.
They have been represented in almost every culture, from the Old Testament and ancient Norse mythology, as well as extensive representation in Native American folklore.
Bears are admired for their physical strength as well as being representatives of both the brutal and gentle aspects of nature: the mother bear is a tender parent, but fierce protector of her cubs.
These enigmatic creatures are also associated with leisure, natural medicine and wisdom.
In Native American cultures the bear was a symbol of power, often worn by those who felt a deep connection to the animal. The bear paw used as a form of protection.
In modern tattoo this traditional symbol is used to link personality traits and characteristics individuals share with bears.
In the past getting these traditional tattoos may have been considered culturally insensitive, in contemporary tattoos just about everything is fair game.
If they are etched respectfully there isn’t usually an issue, as most tribal tattoo designs relating to specific cultural rites are controlled by members of the society the art belongs to.
Any doubts about the tribal tattoo means you should check out its viability for non-members of the culture or society.
Polynesian tribal tattoos are most often connected with rites of passage or a significant transformation.
The shoulders, arms, and sides are the most popular areas on the body for tribal tattoos.
The designs are made to accent or emphasize the shapes of the athletic body, while telling the story of the owner.
Tribal tattoo also features different themes the wearer can choose, from specific tribal gods to personal lucky charms, achievements, and animal motifs.
Tribal tattoos are deeply personal yet are traditional in their execution. It’s only been a recent phenomenon for tribal work to be tattooed with a machine.
Black is the way to go for most tribal designs. Stylistically, many people still prefer the striking nature of these blackwork tattoos
While many people use flat black ink to create tribal tattoo designs, more variety is being displayed in shading and technique than in the past.