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Relic of 2000s styling, the "tribal graphic"


Some styles of the past come back into fashion. This one didn't.

A clarification up front: I'm not talking about tribal art. When you look up tribal art, you'll see many interesting art pieces, much of which is ceremonial and/or religious...

...but that's not what a tribal graphic is.

In the mid-to-late 2000s, tattoos were the Thing of The Moment. There were even a few television shows made just about tattooing, such as Miami Ink. Every tattoo show was all sorts of terrible. Trash TV at its finest.

Tattoo culture birthed what's known as the tribal graphic. And with that I have to make another clarification...

...this graphic style isn't tribal tattooing, such as for Polynesian styles. A tribal graphic is just your generic swoopy thing that looks like a mixture of wave, fire and blade. It's totally unoriginal, overdone many times over, generic, bland. Put another way, a tribal graphic is the clipart of the tattoo world.

I don't have any tattoos myself, but back in the day you could not avoid the tribal graphic tattoo. It was EVERYWHERE, because tattoos were the in thing, and tribal was "cool". If you were anywhere between the ages of 18 and 30 back in the mid-2000s, someone you knew had the stupid tribal graphic tattoo be it friend or acquaintance.

The two most popular placement areas for the tribal graphic tattoo was on the arm for men, and above the butt for women (yes, I'm talking about the infamous "tramp stamp").

For a brief period of time, the tribal graphic appeared on guitars. Namely, the B.C. Rich Warlock. Several variations of the tribal graphic appeared on this guitar.

I do have to admit however that the Warlock shape does in fact take to the tribal graphic very well. That guitar body shape is very angular, and the tribal design with its fire/wave/blade-like appearance actually does work with it.

Are you a dork if you own this guitar?


The B.C. Rich Warlock with tribal graphic is one of those 2000s things that still holds up now if for no other reason that it's unique. It's a heavy metal guitar, and there's no question about that. Any guitar player that plays metal would look right at home with one of these.

As for those dopey broads that got tramp stamps 20 years ago, um, yeah, that tattoo looks awful now. But the guitar still looks cool.

Published 2024 Apr 16

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