Poland’s Prison Tattoos

Everyone has their own reasons for getting a tattoo. Some people want to commemorate something, some people like to show what their personality is like, and some people just know it looks damn cool when done properly. You’d never know why most people choose to get their tattoos unless you ask them, but one interesting exception has always been prison tattoos. In the late 19th Century, prison tattoos were used to show who you were, the gangs you were in, and what you’d done to be in prison in the first place. They were done with various instruments, as they would never be allowed near a tattoo machine. They have, in the modern world, a certain charm to them.

One photographer, Katarzyna Mirczak, has been taking some photos of some preserved tattoos that were found in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. They’re featured on the Huffington Post’s website at the moment, and you should really check them out.

It’s always kind of weird whenever there’s something like this in the news, where tattoos are being preserved in jars, but it’s interesting nonetheless. You can click here to see some tattoos, and also a few of the meanings behind them, too.

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