Tribal tattoos have been a part of many cultures for centuries, but they generally have a deeper meaning than simply a decorative form of body art. They are often used to symbolize spiritual or cultural beliefs, or signify a status or rank within a particular tribe or family. They can also be used to signify an individual’s place in society or to mark a rite of passage. The patterns, shapes, and symbols often associated with tribal tattoos can indicate links to a specific group, geographical area, clan, or tribe. The meanings behind some tattoos are so complex, they are practically unknowable to anyone other than a specific group of people.