Chin Tattoo Meaning Explained – Beyond Showing Off The Fashion Side

“You can’t understand tattooing without understanding the lives of Inuit women.”, said a tattooist while talking about chin tattoos on native people. Unlike tattoos on other body parts, face tattoos, especially those placed on the chin areas, held immense significance to some communities, including Inuit and Maori. 

On the other hand, modern chin tattoos, upfront or underneath, are a daring choice for adventurous and hardy souls. So, before telling your inker that you want a chin tattoo, let’s first explore the chin tattoo meaning!

Chin Tattoo Meaning In Different Cultures


The traditional practice of getting chin tattoos dates back centuries in the Inuit tribes in Arctic regions but was banned in the 19th and 20th centuries due to colonization. 

Inuit chin tattoos are traditionally done on females, primarily by female artists, and are a manifestation of their true identity. However, the type of ink that artists used back then was not the same as today, nor the techniques and equipment. 

In the same vein, the purposes behind these traditional tattoos were not to show the fashion side of the wearer. Instead, tattoos mark prominent limestones in a woman’s life, serving as a reflection of their ages and accomplishments.

Inuit Chin Tattoo

Chin tattoos, specifically, were simple patterns of lines running down the chin’s length and known as chin stripe or “tamlughun”. These tattoos signify that a young Inuit girl has reached puberty. Furthermore, they also help to protect these women from enemy raids. 

Chin tattoos in modern days to Inuit women bring them closer to their ancestry and the once lost tradition following the colonization. It’s a bridge to the past and other Inuit women and the entire community as a whole. 


Part of the Maori rich’s culture is the practice of tattooing. Maori people consider the head the most sacred part of the body. For this reason, the carving on the face or the head is sacred as well.

Usually, only the members of high social ranking have the privilege of getting inked on this body part. For women, in particular, wearing a chin tattoo, also known as a moko, infuses them with huge pride.

Sporting Maori chin tattoos, mostly in black or blue ink, show that they respect and want to connect with their ancestors and celebrate their own identity. These tattoos, to put it simply, are the 21st century’s way to honor Maori cultures. 

Chin Tattoo Ideas

Inuit chin tattoos

The ancient version of chin tattoos – Inuit tattoos, reflects the Inuit culture. This type has been making a big comeback recently, with more women seeking to trace back to their roots through this physical manifestation.  

Once a young girl transforms into an adult woman, they can have a single line, usually in the black color, inked on the upfront of their chin. More lines mark more achievements on your life’s journey; thus, a chin tattoo can quickly become a part of your identity. 

Tribal chin tattoos

A traditional style of Maori tattoo has the motif framing the lips on the two sides and running down to the lower lip to the bottom of the chin. Such tattoos are done mostly on women, using either black or blue ink. Therefore, it is an attractive choice for tattooers who want to connect with their Maori roots and identity. 

Under Chin Tattoo Ideas

Instead of getting inked right up front, you can get an “under chin” tattoo. Tattoos at this placement usually do not carry unique meaning in cultures but rather a form of self-expression. 

These sneaky tattoos are by no means less effective than regular ones when it comes to encouraging you to be more self-confident. The Under-the-chin area also provides more space for ink than the upfront; thus, it opens up more possibilities for your design. 

However, beware of the pain accompanied by getting inked in this section. The fleshy part is the conjunction of your neck and jawline, so you’ll feel more pain with each stroke of the needles. 

On the other hand, under chin tattoos are easily concealed by makeup when needed and sit harmoniously with almost all the tattoos you already have. 

Insect tattoos

Insects are highly symbolic critters, and different species can evoke different emotions and carry different meanings. 

The most common choices for under the chin tattoos are butterflies or cicadas. Their symmetrical wings covering the entire chin portion make marvelous illustrations. 

These designs look great in classic black or other dark shades. Nevertheless, vibrant colors can add more vibrancy and liveliness to your tattoos.

A Butterfly Chin Tattoo

Botanical tattoos

Botanical ideas, such as the motif of flowers and foliage, can brighten the under-the-chin area. These patterns add feminism to women while also looking great on men.

Flower Tattoo Under The Chin
A Simple Flower Tattoo Under The Chin


Abstract tattoos

If you want to get a little artsy, choosing an abstract tattoo is no better way. By incorporating geometric patterns or simple black lines, you get a tattoo that is open to interpretation.

An Abstract Chin Tattoo

Elaborate tattoos

For a more daring, noticeable under-the-chin tattoo, you might want a more complex, larger design that might cover the entire under-the-chin section and the neck.

An Elaborate Chin Tattoo

It can be any design, from basic ones to more intricate details, as long as it can tell your story. One of our favorite elaborate tattoos for the chin is the Eye of Providence, which symbolizes the omnipresent eye of God watching over humankind.

The Eye Of Providence Under The Chin


That’s all about the chin tattoo meaning explanation! Chin tattoos hold a special place in some cultures. They represent tribal traditions that span hundreds if not thousands of years. However, it does not mean that you cannot get chin tattoos if you don’t belong to these communities. 

Modern interpretations of the chin and under-the-chin tattoos offer you a world of creative, unique, and artsy ideas that you can be proud to wear around just like Inuit and Maori people do.

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