“In the world of Russian gang tattoos, images of a church or monastery means that the person is a thief. The number of steeples on the church indicate the number of convictions.”
During the Soviet era from the 1960s to 1980s, imprisoned Russian criminals often wore their tattoos as declarations of their credentials, ranks and achievements.
The tattoo ink was made from “a mixture of ashes, urine, and scorched rubber”, and applied with a modified electric shaver.
Factorialist has put together a list to help you understand the interesting symbolic meanings behind certain prison tattoo designs.
From ironically religious symbols to portraits of Lenin or Stalin, it details the meanings of the various designs, which are based on their placement on one’s body.
Scroll down to view some of them, and head here, for the full list. For more secret meanings of prison tattoos, check out our previous feature.
“A professional criminal wears two eight-pointed stars, just below the collar bones. The same tattoos on the knees tells a different story. Stars on the knees show a disdain for authority, meaning, ‘I bow to no one.’”
“Having a tattoo of Lenin or Stalin over your chest or vital organs could protect you, as it was believed that prison guards would not shoot an image of a revered leader.”
“A bracelet tattoo on the wrist means the owner has served over five years in prison. Little crosses tattooed on the knuckles are tallies for trips to the “zone,” that is, to a prison or labor camp.”
“Erotic tattoos are punishing tattoos. These images are meant for prisoners who’ve lost a card game, collaborated with the authorities, or broke a gang’s code of honor.”
[via Bored Panda, Factorialist]
from TAXI Daily News http://ift.tt/1Q7NmJH