Russian criminal tattoos

The photographs, drawings and texts published now over 3 extensive volumes are part of a collection of thousands tattoos accumulated over a lifetime by prison attendant Danzig Baldayev. Tattoos were his entrance into a secret world, a world in which he acted as an ethnographer, recording the rituals of a closed society. The icons and tribal languages he documented are artful, distasteful, sexually explicit and sometimes just simply strange, reflecting as they do the lives and mores of convicts. Skulls, swastikas, harems of naked women, a smiling Al Capone, assorted demons, medieval knights in armor, daggers sheathed in blood, benign images of Christ, mosques and minarets, sweet-faced mothers and their babies, armies of tanks, and a horned Lenin–these are the signs with which this hidden world of people mark and identify themselves.

Russian criminal tattoo

russian criminal tattoo

russian criminal tattoo


4 responses to “Russian criminal tattoos

  1. Pingback: Tightwad filcher – rat tattoo | I Spyer

  2. a question, I know what it means the ‘ring with the dot located on the ring finger?

  3. apparently it means rely on no one but yourself. no disrepect if im wrong its just what i read

  4. The arrow pointing to the circle ring says literal translation
    ‘circular orphan’s hope is only in himself’ …which is hard to translate closer since it would still sounds awkward but right on the nose – ‘An abandoned orphan’s only hope is in himself’ …and after thinking for a good 15 minutes i finally got it – ‘ ‘when abandoned and all alone, you are your last hope’.

    The reason for full orphan ‘circle orphan’ is because in most countries you can be a paternal or a maternal orphan as well, So kids abandoned by their father are paternal (half orphans).as well as a full orphan if both parents are dead or abandoned a child.

Leave a Reply to andrea Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s