Tribal Decals

Pride is a word commonly associated with Native American Heritage.  Indians are very proud of their heritage, culture and those that lead their tribe to where they currently are, through bravery and honor.

One way to show their pride is through displaying tribal decals on items such as cars, motorcycles, windows and other things that people are likely to view frequently.  Because so many Indian tribes have become Americanized to the point of where they no longer dress in traditional Native American clothes, they often display tribal decals to express their support and loyalty to their tribe. 

Tribal decals come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from a few inches to several feet in length and width.  Also, the designs available are extremely varied and an artist is likely to be able to create almost anything upon which a decal can be based.  Different designs and images represent various things that are meaningful to a tribe or clan.  Decals often come with a picture of feathers, fire, various animals, weapons, and occasional wording that may be interpreted by those who are familiar with Indian culture.  \

Tribal decals are much like stickers, although they are made of a vinyl-like plastic that doesn’t tear or stain easily.  They typically have the ability to remain on a surface for about five years under normal conditions.  Extreme weather like constant sunlight, extreme heat, and excessive moisture may cause the decal to fade, wrinkle or peel away from the surface it’s on.  One way to help assure a long lasting decal is to treat with a unique varnish that protects them from the aforementioned conditions.  Another way to insure their longevity is by applying them properly to begin with.  If the decal is not being applied by a professional, a person should choose colors that are not notorious for fading, apply the chosen decal to a smooth, dry surface, making sure to manually iron out the wrinkles, treat the decal, and let the treatment dry completely before exposing it to sun, rain or heat.

Basically, tribal decals are an easy way for someone to nonverbally express their loyalty to their tribe and pride for their heritage.  They are long-lasting and easy to apply and care for.  They hardest part about having a decal may simply be choosing which one to select, as the design possibilities are endless.

Joseph Paige 2006

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