Where does the teardrop tattoo come from
Where does teardrop tattoo come from? While the practice is almost certainly older, written evidence for teardrop tattoo comes in the 1970s, noted in a New Yorker article about a Mexican gang member who spent time in prison.
What does a teardrop tattoo mean in jail?
Symbolism – There are different variants of the tear drop tattoo as well as meanings so let’s have a look at some of them and decipher the purpose and reasoning for them. Clear Teardrop A tattoo design that includes a clear teardrop is typically associated with a person that has attempted to kill another person.
This tattoo can also signify that a loved one has died, either naturally or as a result of violence. A clear teardrop can indicate that the wearer seeks vengeance. Left Side Teardrop Tattoo Initially, for both sides, the teardrop represented that the wearer was ‘owned’ by another inmate in prison.
Placed next to the eyes by their ‘owners,’ hiding it was difficult, and it told everyone else about the pain, tears, and humiliation they faced. Many of these prisoners dealt with rape, extortion, and physical abuse. The amount of care and protection available was almost non-existent.
Outside of prison, these men told others that they received it for killing a man in prison, and eventually the meaning shifted. Over time, the left side teardrop’s meaning changed from being owned to having killed someone in jail.
The number of tears represents how many people the wearer ‘killed’. A teardrop tattoo on the left eye has become increasingly popular among gangs and the meaning has become much more fluid, differing between wearers. Right Side Teardrop Tattoo As time has passed, the teardrop under the right eye’s meaning has drifted from the original and perceived meaning of teardrop tattoos.
- These tears placed on the right side, symbolize a lost gang member or family member;
- Gangs are almost a second family or for some their only family, and so the death of one of its members equates to the death of a brother or sister;
When you see multiple tears on the right side of someone’s face, it more likely means they lost many people dear to them, rather than that they murdered many people. Women tend to tattoo a teardrop to show solidarity or loyalty to their spouse if they’re imprisoned.
- Of course, husbands can do the same;
- Nowadays, the meaning greatly varies to the point where there is no way of knowing why somebody has the tattoo as some individuals adopt the look for unique reasons that are deeply personal;
Filled-In Teardrop A teardrop tattoo on the face means that the person has committed murder. A teardrop outline represents attempted murder, but it could also mean that the person has a friend who was murdered and that they are now currently seeking vengeance.