Armband tattoos are among the most popular type of tattoo, especially tribal armbands. The reasons are clear – an armband makes a bold impact and it’s easy to show, but it can be hidden by shirt sleeves as desired. The designs can be simple or complex, the form is very adaptable.
Band tattoos can be flattering on both men and women. A great thing about them is that they are so varied, the form lends itself well to different styles. They can be bold and manly or subtle and feminine. They highlight a toned biceps, but they can also complement a slender upper arm, making it appear even more delicate. Men usually go for a biceps armband, while women tend to choose for a bracelet or wrist band tattoo.
There is an odd superstition involving armband tattoos – apparently, some tattoo artists believe it’s bad luck to completely join up the band, so they leave a small gap on the inner arm.
Tribal Armband Tattoos
Armband tattoos have been used for centuries on the Polynesian islands, and because of the exploration that went on in the seventeenth century, the idea was brought to Europe around that time. Today’s tribal Hawaiian band tattoos are a remnant of that ancient tradition. Modern armband designs incorporate many elements of these traditional Polynesian designs.
Among the Hawaiians and the other Polynesian islanders, an armband tattoo showed rank or status. Interestingly, they had much the same function as armbands sewn onto military uniforms – or even scouting uniforms for kids – still have today.
The modern tribal armband tattoos we see in the West became popular in the 1990s and still are today. They usually don't consist of images associated with any one particular tribe, but take elements from several different sources. The bold, black lines of a tribal band tattoo look good on almost any physique, although they are not very original.
More about Tribal Tattoos...
Indian Armband Tattoos
Indian armband tattoos usually come in the form of a rope with beads tied around the arm and feathers hanging from the rope. Other imagery that is often included is a bull skull, a dream catcher, an axe or totem pole.
Armband Tattoo Ideas
Here are some more armband tattoo ideas:
Flower armbands: these usually include a vine that wraps around the arm.
- Cross armband tattoos.
- Symbols like peace signs or a yin yang work well because of their round shape. Combine them with barbed wire for example, or tribals.
Ankle Band Tattoos
Nicole Richie's Ankle Band Tattoo
Ankle band tattoos are similar to armband tattoos. They are a good beginner's tattoo because they are easily hidden by wearing pants. Ankle tattoos are a feminine kind of tattoos.
One type of ankle tattoo that has been a trend is the rosary tattoo. This design has been made popular by Nicole Richie.
More about Ankle Band Tattoos...
Armband Tattoos on Celebrities
- Orlando Bloom: has, besides 8 other tattoos, a black band tattoo on his left forearm.
- Kiera Chaplin: the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin, and actress herself, has a skull armband around her left arm.
- Kiefer Sutherland: has a barbed wire armband on his left biceps and a Celtic armband on his right biceps.
- Pamela Anderson: has a barbed wire armband on her left biceps.
You'll also like these designs, check them out: Kokopelli Tattoo Designs