russian traditional tattoos

Russian traditional tattoos

During the 20th century in the Soviet UnionRussian criminal and prison communities maintained a culture of using tattoos to indicate members' criminal career and ranking.

The ink created and worn in Russian prisons is a mysterious and often intimidating part of the world of tattoos. These tattoos often represent a hostile set of beliefs, a crime, or where the wearer stands in the criminal underworld. However, they can be helpful for prison authorities because they can give vital information. For example, sometimes tattoos are enough to send a person back to prison or even save the life of a man with a badge. Soviet period prison tattoos hid an elaborate and rich visual language.

Russian traditional tattoos

Between and , during his career as a prison guard, Danzig Baldaev made over 3, drawings of tattoos. They were his gateway into a secret world in which he acted as ethnographer, recording the rituals of a closed society. The icons and tribal languages he documented are artful, distasteful, sexually explicit and provocative, reflecting as they do the lives, status and traditions of the convicts that wore them. Baldaev made comprehensive notes about each tattoo, which he then carefully reproduced in his tiny St. Petersburg flat. Caricature of the Communist Party. The tattoo of an otritsala a convict who refuses to submit to any kind of authority , who was frustrated with the length of his sentence nine years. He was caught stealing food and gasoline from a kolkhoz collective farm warehouse. Corrective Prison Camp No. An anti-social tattoo, a caricature of the ideologists and leaders of the Communist Party — Marx, Lenin and Stalin.

The tattoos served as a means of exerting control over weaker prisoners.

In the era of the Soviet party, Russian prisons were controlled by a gang known as the Thieves in Law. This gang enforced strict guidelines, including what and where prisoners could tattoo on their bodies. Tattoos had to be earned through physical acts or other ways of standing up to authority, whether it was inside or outside of the prison. If the tattoos were undeserved, they would be forcibly removed from the person before they were further punished with beatings or worse. These days, the tattoo guidelines of the Thieves in Law are no longer followed and inmates are creating their own images with varied meaning.

Beyond the vast landscapes of Russia lies a hidden art form that has weaved its way into the hearts of its people. Join us as we embark on a journey through time to explore the history of tattooing in Russia, from its ancient origins to the modern-day resurgence. Discover the cultural symbolism, social expressions, and evolving artistry that have left an indelible mark on the canvas of Russian society. Ancient Roots of Russian Tattooing. Tattooing in Russia has ancient origins, with evidence of tattooed mummies found in Siberia dating back thousands of years. These ancient tattoos were believed to serve as symbols of social status, religious beliefs, and cultural identity. The intricate designs etched into the skin of ancient Russian tribes offered a glimpse into the enigmatic past of this fascinating art form. Tattoos as Social Expressions. During the medieval period, tattoos in Russia became associated with criminality and punishment. Prisoners and outlaws were marked with tattoos to distinguish them from the general population.

Russian traditional tattoos

Tattooing has always been an inseparable part of human history and culture. Russians have been inking their skin for centuries, and it is an important aspect of their cultural identity. From religious rituals to criminal markings, tattoos hold significant meaning in Russian culture. In this article, we will dive deep into the world of Russian tattoos, their history, meanings, and significance. The roots of tattooing in Russia can be traced back to ancient times. It was a common practice among the pagan tribes of Russia, who used tattoos to symbolize their social status, cultural beliefs, and religion. Tattoos were also used to ward off evil spirits and protect the wearer from harm. With the advent of Christianity in Russia, the practice of tattooing was discouraged and became associated with paganism and criminality. In the 18th and 19th centuries, tattooing resurfaced in the Russian criminal underworld as a means of identifying members of different criminal organizations.

Azure status

As a response, the authorities prohibited these prison tattoos, leading to their proliferation in underground settings. Archived from the original on Manacles mean that the sentence the inmate served was more than five years in length. Barbed Wire. Additionally, a fashion for tattooing had spread through juvenile prisons, increasing the number of inmates with "illegitimate" tattoos. Ring tattoos on the hands are immediately indicative of a convict. Various criminal tattoos depicting torches — a symbol of freedom. Prisoners typically created tattoos on their own, often using improvised tools. They might also represent his "thief's family", naming others within hearts or with the traditional tomcat image. The drops of blood can signify the number of murders committed. Patriotic Tattoos The tattoos depicted are not 'Portachkami' [rough, youth tattoos] which are rare at this time. A Jesus and Mary tattoo represents that the wearer was either born in prison or into crime. Bottom right: Text reads ' All power to the godfathers! Crude images depicting the NKVD the forerunner of the KGB as devils, pigs, or wolves and Lenin being displayed as the biggest thief of all became common, as did images showing where the owner was from or the crime that had caused his incarceration.

A matryoshka doll inked next to St. The traditional Khokhloma pattern is a popular choice of tattoo in Russia, probably even more so than famous landmarks.

When it comes to Russians getting tattoos, their parents may face slightly more difficulty accepting it compared to parents in other European countries. Some of the motifs came from English sailor tattoos , such as the flying tall ships, a heart pierced by a dagger, anchors, a serpent-entwined heart or a tiger baring its teeth. The tulip and the rose symbolise that the 16th and 18th anniversary have been spent in places of imprisonment. Grins Criminal tattoos executed in prison and on the outside top left: Size of tattoo drawings increased by 1. Tools Tools. Read Edit View history. There are tattoos that are forcibly applied to signify "demotion" razzhalovanie. Ozerla g [Ozerny Labour Camp] Tattoo Apprenticeships — Memphis. If the spider is crawling up the shoulder, the thief is still active. Chest, hip, back. Prisoners typically created tattoos on their own, often using improvised tools. She had spent a total of thirty-two years in confinement.

0 thoughts on “Russian traditional tattoos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *