Tag Archives: russian criminal tattoo

People are beasts!

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Cat tattoo

 Another installment from the fabled Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia:

russian criminal cat tattoo

A convicts tattoo signifying ‘I am a recidivist convict. I have no resouces to support a conscience.’

Tightwad filcher – rat tattoo

Another installment from the fabled Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia:

 rat tattoo russian criminal

A tattoo from a convict sentenced for hooliganism under Article 206 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR. He stole three packets of cigarettes and some sweets from the lockers of his fellow inmates. He was discovered and beaten up. It was decided by a group of ‘authoritative’ thieves that this tattoo should be forcibly applied as a punishment.

The Cat – symbol of thieves

A lovely tattoo from the 3rd volume of the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia:

One of the most popular tattoos of the criminal world during the 1950s and 1960s. Dozens of variants of the cat, the symbol of thieves, existed. Copied from the stomach of an ‘authoritative’ thief nicknamed ‘Sasha Studeny’.

Russian Cat tattoo

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