What does a spiderweb tattoo on the elbow symbolize?
The tattoo of a spiderweb on an elbow or a neck most usually
indicates that a person has done time in jail/prison. The spiderweb
as a symbol of "doing time" comes from the notion that a spider web
catches and imprisons. Therefore translating to doing time. All
ethnic races; especially gang members may "ink up" with a
spiderweb. Most likely places to find the spiderweb tattoo are:
neck, elbows and knees. However, one may find them almost anyplace
on the body. The location of the tattoo means nothing.
Comments that a spider web tattoo means that a person is a gang
member, an NLR member, Aryan member, etc.; or that the wearer has
killed someone are really myths and are without any supportive
evidence. These days, many pseudo "tough guys" will wear this tat
to "look the part."
Tattoos done "in the joint" are usually done in blue or black
ink and made from tattoo "rigs" constructed of tape recorder
motors, a pen barrel and guitar string; and ink made from stolen
ink pens and mixed with Aqua Velva aftershave; or ink made from
carbon residue made from burning plastic and mixing the residue
with an Aqua Velva solution. Color tattoos in the joint are rare
because of a problem securing colored ink.
"Dr. Ron" most "jailbirds" get them to represent how many years
they were in prison or how many people they killed Symbolism of a
Spider Web on the Elbow Tattoo Here are opinions and answers from
The spiderweb on the elbow started out around the 40s as a aryan
gang symbol meaning that you killed a minority. usually each ring
meant how many years they were locked up. obviously in 70 years,
things change. im Aztec and Native American and i have a spiderweb
on my elbow with a clock in the middle. these days the meaning is
pretty simple. it is a symbol of struggle. some struggle with
drugs, some struggle with the system, and some just struggle with
everything in life. Sometimes the harder you try to fight it, the
more you get tangled in life's web. whoever wrote below "it means
what you want it to mean" is obviously the only genius in here,
because its no longer a symbol that belongs to any group or
lifestyle. especially since you've got idiotic Nazi Lowriders that
recruit Latinos. "We're gonna hate everything that's not white, but
we'll make an exception cuz we gotta get drugs from somewhere" How
bout just try to be an American and a normal member of society. i
say send them all to Iraq and let them feel what is is to be hated
for being an American and having nothing to do with race. sure
would make me and my boys feel better.
Bikers and others have the tattoo done to signify how sometimes
in life we caught in the web of fate. In other words you get caught
in situations you can not control.
- Depending on where you look, it's either a prison tattoo
showing that you've served time or it's a white supremacy thing.
Mostly, I've met people who used it simply to show that they've
- On the elbows itis sometimes a skinhead tattoo not just racist
skinheads but anti racist, gay, and political skinheads use it
- I was just discussing this tonight and apparently it's a tat,
generally done in PRISON, which means you're in for murder.
- It's traditionally a prison tattoo. Lifers and those with long
sentences would get it to signify that they were locked up for so
long, they had cobwebs, get it?
It has been known as a racist thing or each line of the web
stands for how many years you did in prison.
- You've killed, hate or hit a visible minority.
- Drug or substance abuse addiction.
- it means uve bashed a rival gang member to near death each ring
means how many they have bashed (jail/street gang tat)
- Jail Time (prison tat)
- It means what you want it to mean.
- It means that you are trapped somewhere.
- It means you have a tattoo of a spider web on your elbow.
- Usually, the old-fashion spider web tattoo is placed on the
elbows. It's an old school prison tattoo, meaning you did time or
that you killed someone in prison. It can be a hate-symbol worn by
racists, who are proud to have killed someone from a different
race. Another meaning is 'you're dealing with a dangerous person
with a gun'. Nowadays, it's used in the punk scene for example, it
means 'Caught in the system'. Also used in new school and old
school-style tattoos just because it looks really nice.
- Among gang members, this tattoo was a code, readable by other
gangsters in prison and on the outside, showing that the bearer had
served serious time in the penitentiary. In some parts of the
country the same tattoo meant that the wearer had killed a member
of a minority group. In fact, James Burmeister was convicted in
1995 of killing a black couple, an act he committed solely because
he wanted to wear the spider web tattoo that was popular among
members of the Aryan Brotherhood. But while this tattoo holds
powerful and specific significance for gang members, to the middle
class that has co-opted the symbol it has no meaning beyond the
idea that it is simply "cool." Thus Robert Van Winkle (formerly
famous as the rapper Vanilla Ice) and Lars Frederiksen of the band
Rancid both sport spider web tattoos. In a 1996 episode of Melrose
Place, one of the characters gets drunk before going to tattoo
parlor and wakes up the next day with a huge spider web tattooed on
his elbow. The spider web may be the most common prison tattoo to
be assimilated by the middle class, but it is not the only one.
People who have no affiliations to or interest in gangs have had
themselves tattooed with Old English script on their chests, backs
and arms, a style that used to be exclusive to gang members. These
non-gang-member tattoo wearers believe they can imbibe the
"gangsta" aura without having to lead a gangster life. Thus Dody
Lira, a highly tattooed but law-abiding 25-year-old from Dallas,
Texas, is proud to have several tattoos that are in the same style
as gang tattoos, including a large tattoo of his own last name on
the outside of his left calf in Old English lettering. "They have
influenced me, by planting a symbolic badge that can be worn for
everyone to see, for the rest of my life," he explained. "It all
ties in with symbolism-they all stand for something; it's
universally known." But he acknowledges that there are some gang
tattoos he would not adopt, saying, "You see a dude with 187 on his
forearm, he's probably a killer." Still, he sees no conflict
between staying within the bounds of polite society while sporting
gang-style tattoos. "Yuppies also drive Harleys," he explains.
"That doesn't mean that they are beer drinking, wife smacking
it is said that it originated from a tribe in Malaysia.
It is also known to be an old Navy tattoo. Sailors would
use it to symbolize them leaning on the side of a ship waiting to
return home for so long that cobwebs had showed up.
The spider web is most officially representative of five years
in prison per elbow. According to the Colorado Penitentiary inmates
general understanding and as I have come to understand during my
five year stint in prison. For the record when cops fail to report
other cops of crimes they commit on duty they are just as guilty as
the cop that committed the crime.