The culture of gang life is all about representation and symbolism. Belonging to a gang is extremely serious, and loyalty to a gang is one of the most important aspects for claiming membership. The gangster tattoo is the method most commonly used to show a person's pride in membership and dedication to the gang.
The basic function of a gangster tattoo is to show the world, and especially rival gangs, how much a person is devoted to their “family”. A tattoo is essentially a permanent step as they are very difficult to remove. A member initially receives a gangster tattoo to show who they belong to, but the meaning of the tattoo can also have many other meanings.
The gang's name will be the main part of a gangster tattoo. Unique works of art designed by gang members include special lettering and coded markings to identify who they belong to. Additional artwork is added depending on the tastes of the members and as a representation of the accomplishments and seniority of the member.
Slogans and anagrams are also an important part of gangster tattoos. These can identify the area or branch of affiliation of the gang member and announce to the world the beliefs of the gang to which the member belongs.
Other aspects of a gangster tattoo may indicate a member's personal feelings, e.g. B. Family members who have died or who may have been detained for an extended period of time. Heroes of certain gangs also become part of a gangster tattoo to show loyalty and respect for the memory of the hero.