19.09.2015
Shamash, the sun-god worshipped by the Akkadians, was the most powerful god in their culture.
The Mayans viewed sun tattoos as a way to protect themselves and to show that they were enlightened. The Navajo, on the other hand, saw sun tattoos as symbols of creation and the destructive power of war. Tribal sun tattoos usually combine the swirls and clear lines of tribal art with the recognizable mark of the sun. There are many popular images that are often transformed into contemporary body art designs for tribal tattoos; however the tribal sun tattoo is probably one of the most favored by both male and female tattoo enthusiasts.
When it comes to the placement for tribal sun tattoos, this is actually a very versatile symbol that suits a variety of different body parts and can also be scaled to fit different sized skin surfaces too.
Women on the whole tend to opt for these designs today anywhere from the hip or thigh to the shoulder or arm however the nape of the neck and even the navel, with the latter used as the body of the sun with its rays emanating from its centre are also popular.
There are many different styles available for a tribal sun tattoo from the Aztec and Mayan versions to those favored by the Native American and Hawaiian tribes however different versions can be found in almost any tribe from the Polynesian islands to Northern Europe. Myths detail where the sun came from and most cultures also had apocalypse myths covering what would happen at the end of the time, with the final sunset.


Their tattoos were used for rituals, placing them in certain spots to show devotion to a particular god. Sun tattoos that feature a clear, human face inside them were used as a form of protection from the darkness in life.
For these people, tattoos were more than body decorations; they were an expression of faith. While adding a moon and some stars can make the tattoo more feminine, it can also bring a new meaning to the tattoo. Godsmack is a heavy metal band that used this tribal sun on the cover of their first album in 1998.
While almost any image can be transformed in this style by an experienced tattoo artist with the relevant artistic talent and skills, this particular celestial body was often used in the original art work too. This particular image in the style of tribal artwork was one of the most demanded designs for lower back tattoos for women five to ten years ago, for what has been notoriously renamed as the ‘tramp stamp’ but it is suited to pretty much any body part.
The symbolism behind these differing styles of sun images remains predominantly the same encompassing positive attributes such as glory, happiness, enlightenment and fulfillment as well as representing the gift of life and creation.
Aztec sun tattoos can range from small, simple tribal patterns to huge circles filled with an incredible amount of detail.


Much of the beliefs and rituals followed by these ancient tribes and civilizations revolved around the natural world and many deemed the sun to be the powerful force that brought life to it all. Guys also seem to like this particular image in the tribal art-style however they tend to go for medium to large designs in more prominent locations like the bicep, shoulder, back or leg in bold black swirling lines with the rays resembling flames.
Honoring the sun as a giver of life is an ancient and universal impulse, and may explain some of the popularity of sun tattoos. Taino sun tattoos feature a round sun with rounded rays, rather than the traditional fiery rays. The sun brought the plants and trees to life, helped grow crops to sustain their families and brought warmth and light to the world after the darkness of the night. These are also used in other tribal designs like the armband tattoo as the focal point from which the rest of the patterns intersect to wrap around the bicep.



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