Tribal tattoos that mean "friendship"

Written by rebekah worsham
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Tribal tattoos that mean "friendship"
Tribal tattoos can mean "friendship" or "loyalty." (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Tattooing the skin is an ancient practice that has been used to express religious beliefs, strong emotions and declarations of love. An assortment of ancient tribal symbols are used in tattoos to symbolise friendship. These symbols are often tattooed on the wrist, foot or chest as a testament of devotion and loyalty.

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The Claddagh Symbol

People with an Irish background use the claddagh to symbolise devotion and friendship. The symbol consists of a heart held in two hands and topped with a crown, representing love, protection, friendship and loyalty. The claddagh is typically tattooed upon the chest, outer arm, ankle or wrist. Friends can get matching claddagh tattoos to represent their close relationship.

Rau Kumara

The Maori, an indigenous tribe of New Zealand, recognise the rau kumara as a symbol of great friendship. The symbol, which consists of a double or triple twist, represents the joining of two cultures or individuals bonded in eternal friendship, despite what trials may come. The symbol is typically tattooed on the outer arm, leg ankle or other highly visible area of the body as a declaration of dedication and devotion to a special friendship.

The Open Hand

Native American tribes used a variety of symbols to convey their thoughts, beliefs and emotions. The image of an open hand was used as a symbol of friendship and is often used in modern day tattoos to symbolise a profound bond or alliance between friends. The symbol of an open hand may be tattooed separately on a visible area of the body such as the chest, arm or outer leg or is sometimes included as part of a tribal band, usually tattooed along the outer arm or leg.

Arrows of Friendship

The arrows of friendship was first used by Native American tribes as a symbol of friendship between two people or the joining of two tribes. The symbol is designed of two separate arrows crossed over each other and are meant to display a common goal between the parties and a close bonding of friendship. Arrows of friendship tattoos are often placed on the outer arm as part of a tribal band or separately on a visible area of the body such as the wrist or outer leg.

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