Monday, November 19, 2007

Russian criminal tattoos

I remember reading an online guide to non-western tattoos that talked about the tattoos that they give in the Russian prison system, mentioning the interesting system of marking years served by cupolas tattooed--not to mention the many, many, specialized tattoos for basically anything and everything relating to crimes committed on the outside and behavior inside. But the most interesting part, or at least the most revealing part, was a disclaimer at the end of the presentation that said that Russian criminals are obligated to cut, scrape, or burn off tattoos on anyone who hadn't earned them. This was a big fucking hint for people in the U.S. and elsewhere not to get these tattoos because they look pretty.

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