Gang Tattoo Meanings and Pictures

Tattooing is a form of ritual. It is also used as a means to express who an individual is and what they stand for. Most tattoos are a very personal symbol for whoever wears them on his or her body.

Ancient Romans were known to use their tattoos as a means in identifying their slaves. Ancient Japanese would tattoo their criminals to identify the crime they had committed. Many cultures would use tattoos to show what they as a people stood for in a spiritual sense, while others would use tattoos to outcast slaves or criminals.

These cultures as well as subcultures were brought together by tattooing but were set apart by the meanings and intent of each distinct marking.

A tattoo is a permanent work of art that is created on the skin on either a visible part of the body or in a very private position. It can never be erased. In that sense, a tattoo will be with you forever. It is for this reason that both ancient as well as the more modern cultures would use tattooing on their criminals so as to purposefully keep them separate from non-tattooed people.

They were the outcasts of society. From this, tattooing would develop its darker side and slowly make its way into the world of the criminal. Prison inmates were branded or tattooed and discovered they were on common ground, forming gangs and bonds based on their own criminal status. Their tattoos would be their symbol which would identify each member of their underworld.

Earlier gangs would tattoo the same symbol on each member, but modern day gang members will tattoo their individual interpretations of their gang's symbols.

A gang tattoo marks someone as being a part of either a prison gang or a street gang. It symbolizes proud membership. It represents allegiance to a group that is deeply personal. A gang tattoo also represents the beliefs of the wearer.

Sometimes a gang tattoo will record an act of murder or violence. Each gang will have their own set of markings and tattoos. Some symbols will cross the boundary of a gang. An example would be a teardrop beneath one eye. This could represent a loved one's death or murder.

Gang tattoos can be heavily detailed and represent a gang affiliation as well as the member as an individual. They generally represent gang names and accomplishments or a memorial to a loved one, cultural and religious ties, and even their children's names.

A common gang tattoo is dots between the thumb and forefinger which will indicate their time spent behind bars. There are also certain designs that will have coded meanings. Below are a few tattoos and an explanation of their special significance:
  • Barbed wire that is tattooed across a forehead signifies life imprisonment with no chance of parole.
  • A cat means that the person lives their life as a thief.
  • Churches and fortresses will often be tattooed on a hand, the back, or chest. Each tower or spire represents the number of years in incarceration.
  • Tombstones represent time that has been lost.
A gang tattoo is not worn to be fashionable or cool. It goes beyond that. It is a hard earned emblem that is proudly worn to show the harsh reality of a member's everyday life.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© Copyright 2010-2011 Tattoo Artwork Ideas All Rights Reserved.
Template Design by Herdiansyah Hamzah | Published by Borneo Templates | Powered by