Looking for Irish tribal tattoos? Want to know about all the different styles of tribal tattoos available? Read our guide for more information on choosing the right tattoo for you…
Variety of Irish Tribal Tattoos
The tribes and clans of ancient Ireland were fiercely territorial and often identified themselves with unique tattoos. These Irish tribal tattoos would imitate Celtic rune symbols like the Ken rune that stands for a flame. Tattoos of the Ken rune would signify heroism and action and was the chosen tribal tattoo of the fierce warrior. Another set of tribal tattoos is the Ogham symbol of Duir, which stands for the oak tree. The Duir signifies stability and power and is a source of forceful cosmic energy.
The bearer of these Irish tribal tattoos is believed to invoke the assistance of the gods of war and is capable of unleashing powerful forces on the battlefield when he charges into battle with his clan’s enemies. The Irish tribal tattoos were intimidating and generally struck fear in the hearts of onlookers. The highest honour among ancient Irish tribes was going into battle and young men were primed to become ferocious warriors from a young age. They often rode into battle bare-chested and displayed their Irish tribal tattoos with proud arrogance, reinforcing their stance as warriors.
Performing Irish Tribal Tattoos
Ancient Irish tribes would use the Woad plant to inscribe tattoos into the skin of warriors. This is a hardy plant which is native to the British Isles, land of the Celtic people. The Woad plant produces a special blue chemical called indigotin, which is ideal as the dye for Irish tribal tattoos.
To prepare for the tattooing process, the leaves of the Woad plant are first plucked and dried. Once fully dry, the leaves are boiled and then strained. Then the leaves are boiled once more until they become viscous. The end product is left to cool. The cool Woad paste, dark blue in colour, is then tapped into the skin with sharp instruments resembling needles. Irish tribal tattoos are formed as the indigo colour stains under the layers of the skin to form indelible designs.
Irish tribal tattoos appeared on the body canvas of warriors in ancient Irish clans for centuries. A mark of courage, pride and honour, tribal tattoos were prominently displayed to intimidate their enemies as men rode into battle. Woad tattoos were popular and coveted by warriors to identify their heroism.