The use of typical motifs: The work of art that comes from a tribe will have marks and design motifs that are representative of that culture. You may not notice this at first but as you keep looking at tribal arts, you will soon be in a position to be able to identify the tribe that is represented by a particular type of art. For example, Red Indian art tends to represent birds and animals and there is use of feathers and other things to create the art.
Natural means and materials: Another typical thing that you will notice about tribal artwork is that they tended to borrow and use things from the environment around them. For instance, art from the Aztecs would have plenty of turquoise; art from coastal tribes will have coral and shells in them. Apparently, they were not only artistic, but they were also smart in the environmental sense.
Colors and pigments: Tribes also tend to be very ingenuous when it comes to the use of coloring in their art; no store bought paints for them. They would actually use the plants, flowers and berries from their area to make paints and pigments which they would then use to create their works of art. Once again, something that is smart and sensible to do.
Practical and mythical: Another surprising aspect of tribal art is that most pieces of art that they created tended to have a practical use and also some sort of mythical significance. The practical or decorative aspect of the art that they produced encouraged them to work at evolving the art form and the religious aspect of them encouraged them to take good care of the art so that future generations would also enjoy it.
The next time you are traveling to some land far away, it would be a good idea for you to not only visit the tourist spots at the place but also take a look at the tribal art of that place. This will be not only pleasing to the senses, but you will find the experience pleasant and educative too.