The populations of Native Americans of North America have always had a tradition in the use of the tattoo, even if the styles were very different. In fact, Native Americans were formed by hundreds of independent tribes with different languages and customs.
All tattoos had a very important significance for whom had it. It was a metaphor of some important events of own life, or a sign of belonging to own tribe.
The used method to do the tattoo was common among the various tribes. The future of the tattooed skin was cut from various types of sharp objects such as sharp rocks or shells. It was then rubbed a dye extracted from berries or other natural sources, on wounds, and then let the wound heal. A similar method was used by Maori tribes in Polynesia.
Typical tattoos are patterns of wolves, eagles and bears combined with feathers, characteristic of Native American culture. There is also representations of spirit guides, depictions of great Indian leaders of the past.
Among women is widely used the dreamcatcher tattoo, an amulet, according to the culture of Native Americans, is used to ward off bad dreams. It was given to every new baby, that had to keep it for its life, and it could decorate it as best it wanted.
The dreamcatcher is made from a outer circle in flexible timber, that represents the cycle of life and of universe, and a net to catch the dreams. The dreams are captured by the beads, while the harmful ones are removed with a feather.
A tribe in which the use of tattoos was very popular was the Haida tribe, located on the West coast of North America. Their tattoos use very bright red and white colors, to evoke their terrible reputation as bloodthirsty warriors. Very depicted in the Haida tattoos are animals, each one with its own meaning. The bear, for example, represents the strength and power, but the birds are a symbol of peace and piety.