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Armband tattoos are among the most popular type of tattoo, especially tribal armband tattoos.
Designs that are often turned into armband tattoos include flowers (with vines), dragons (long neck), barbed wire and shooting stars. Another great thing about armband tattoo designs is that they are so varied, the form lends itself well to different styles.
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.
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.

There is even 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.
There are tribal armband tattoos - these 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. 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. Traditional Celtic art often incorporates a border surrounding a central image or images and these borders are easily adapted to form armband tattoo designs.
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.

They highlight a toned biceps, but they can also complement a slender upper arm, making it appear even more delicate. We could speculate about the origin of this superstition for a long time: is there some ancient tribal significance or is the tattoo artist just cutting corners to save himself some time? Men usually go for a biceps armband, while women tend to choose for a bracelet or wrist band tattoo.
Modern armband tattoo designs incorporate many elements of these traditional Polynesian designs.

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