In general, the sun is thought to be a symbol of glory, authority and brilliance, and because of this it has become a very popular image for body art. Tribal sun tattoos are a little different when it comes to symbolism, however, as its meaning often depends on the group of people who are using it. For instance, the Navajo sun emblem is connected to both war and creation, while the Mayans felt that it was an emblem for productivity and enlightenment.
Some of the most commonly seen tribal sun tattoos consist of sharp lines pointing out from a fine, black circle. These designs sometimes take on a swirling pattern that is used to represent the moving flames of the sun itself. Although this particular style is generally done in simple black, it may also be done in shades of red or deep blue. Sometimes people like to add embellishments to these pieces such as stoic-looking faces, astrological glyphs or religious artifacts.
Traditional symbols are also occasionally used for tribal sun tattoos. One of the more common emblems is similar in appearance to the modern take on tribal body art and consists of a small circle that is topped with seven sharp rays that curve to the right. This design, which is often done in black and outlined in red, is said to represent the seven energy centers of human beings.
Another traditional symbol that is used for tribal sun tattoos is the Hopi tribe’s sun Kachina. This symbol depicts a small, simple face that is horizontally split into colors of red and white. Surrounding this face is six sets of matching feathers. A second Hopi sun symbol shows another simple face that is surrounded by bright rays of red, white and yellow.
Navajo and Mayan symbols are two other great options for tribal sun tattoos. Like the Hopi emblems, the Navajo sun symbol shows a small white and blue face. This face is generally lined in black and surrounded by a blue circle that bears an arrangement of red feathers. The Mayan symbol is a little more unusual. This image shows a small circle within a circle that bears two long lines at the top. On either side of these lines are two other small circles.