While the number 13 is associated with bad luck in the “square” world of Sailor Jerry, it’s the opposite for tattoo lovers.
The unlucky number is seen as an antidote to common bad luck and a telltale sign to other ink enthusiasts. The number 13 is associated with superstitious sailors, prison gangs and outlaws, as well as ancient notions of alienation and outsiders.
The following article delves deeper into the mystery, history, and continued popularity of the number 13 tattoo.
What does the number 13 tattoo mean?
There are several reasons why the number 13 is considered lucky for a tattoo artist and their clients. According to Trent Aitken-Smith’s Tattoo Dictionary, “if bad luck comes your way and sees the number 13 tattooed on your body, it will assume you’ve had enough misfortune and ignore you.”
Another school of thought attached to superstition believes that traditional bad luck symbol tattoos remove negativity and reverse the meaning, while many inmates and gang members from Southern California and Outlaw cyclists wear the number 13 as a symbol of alienation from traditional society.
Image: Tony Alter CC BY 2.0
Sailors are superstitious
Flash tattoo sheets with a lucky number 13 or even a lucky number 13 are some of the oldest types of traditional art tattoos you’ll find. The number 13 tattoo is reminiscent of the old western era of tattooing, when most tattooed individuals were sailors or marines with bold tattoos.
As Aitken Smith asserted above, if you have the number 13 tattoo then you are the one who is looking to turn the tide against the usual luck with the number 13 and Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.
Judas Iscariot was the 13th disciple of Jesus. The Templars were disbanded on Friday, May 13, 1307, and the Mayans believed that their 13th lunar month led to the end of the world.
The number 13 plays an important role in the contemporary concept of luck. Most passenger planes don’t have 13 rows of seats, and tall buildings with elevators don’t have 13 floors.
Image: Jose David Leiva CC BY 2.0
Gangs, prisons, bikers and the number 13 tattoo
1. Sureño vs Norteños
The number 13 is politically relevant in graffiti, street gangs, the US Prison system, and even international gangs. According to author Karen Kinnear, in 1968 the inmates in a California prison were divided into two rival groups, the Norteno (Northerners) and Sureno (Southern) gangs. This separation is based on the prisoner’s home location.
The Sureno gang used the number 13, which represents the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, the letter M, to mark their allegiance to the Mexican Mafia prison gang. They are strongest in Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico.
There are many variations on the marking of tattoos and graffiti by Sureno gang members, and in each expression there is a variation of the number 13 – whether it is a simple number, a Roman numeral. or how to interpret writing.
The Norteno gang – affiliated with the Nuestra Familia mafia prison group – is strongest north of Los Angeles in the Bay Area as well as California’s prison and gang system. Nortenos use the number 14 in their gang tattoos.
The California dividing line between north and south is around Salinas and Fresno.
Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13, is an international gang originating from Los Angeles. This gang was originally formed to protect Salvadoran immigrants from other gangs in the Los Angeles area, but has since grown into one of the most feared gangs in the world.
Their affiliation with the number 13 means that MS-13 are often associated with Sureno gang targets, although their sinister methods and scorching policies often leave them scarred by opponents rather than thwarted. tomb. Many of their members have similar tattoos in highly visible areas, such as the face, neck, or head.
3. Outlaw motorcycle gangs
The number 13 sticker is often worn on an outlaw’s shirt color, symbolizing the cyclist smoking marijuana, dealing in marijuana, or having a connection with methamphetamine. It may also have a link to the Mother chapter of a motorcycle club.
“Numbers can play a political role in tattoos,” tattoo artist Iron Monk told VICE. “If you don’t think about it, you could go to the wrong place, to the wrong hood, or to the wrong city and… they could check you with those numbers on you.”
Tattoo number 13 and special day Friday the 13th
Some tattooists offer tattoo enthusiasts a special ‘Friday the 13th’ in which they tattoo small plates of ink for Friday the 13th or tattoo the number 13 for clients who step up.
One tattoo parlor that is advertising these tattoo deals will even offer to do the work for $13 as part of a promotion. My advice is to pay a bit more for a more impressive Friday the 13th body art.
And remember, given the seasonal cheap prices that are often widely advertised on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there’s sure to be long lines of people looking to get in the game to get their first tattoo or even tattoo done. their 50th.
It’s also important to note that if you’re going to take advantage of the cheap $13 Friday the 13th tattoo, it’s best to have a twenty on hand when it’s time to pay. The tip is part of the deal at signing, so a lucky $7 is expected to be part of the final price.
Given the fact that you’re saving about $50 off the regular price for cheap tattoos, the extra $7 isn’t too much to ask for!
Oliver Peck’s 13: Party Starter and World Record Holder
Former Ink Master judge Oliver Peck has started a new tradition of tattooing the number 13.
“I’m definitely not the first person to get the number 13 tattoo done on Friday the 13th,” Peck told VICE. “But I definitely made it an event.”
In 1995, Peck threw a Friday the 13th party in his living room in Dallas that lasted 24 hours, getting everyone special flash tattoos on Friday the 13th, and a new ink tradition took hold. born.
Peck also holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for number 13 tattoo. In 2008 at Elm Street Tattoo Shop in Texas, Peck completed 415 flash tattoos of number 13 in a 24-hour period. consecutive.
Peck’s record was quickly broken by a tattoo artist named Hollis Cantrell, who tattooed the word AZ 808 times in 24 hours at his tattoo parlor.
Frequently asked questions about tattoo number 13
What does the number 13 tattoo represent?
The unlucky number is seen as an antidote to common bad luck and a telltale sign for other tattoo enthusiasts. The number 13 is associated with superstitious sailors, prison gangs and outlaws, as well as ancient notions of alienation and outsiders.
Is 13 a lucky number or unlucky number?
For most Western civilization, the number 13 is considered an unlucky number associated with the traitor Judas and the destruction of the Knights Templar. However, in tattoo society, the number 13 is considered a lucky number used to negate or oppose traditional symbols of bad luck.
Is the number 13 a gang tattoo?
In some gangs, the number 13 is used as a tattoo identification mark. The most popular are the Southern California-based Sureno gang and the fearsome MS-13 gang, an international crime icon founded by Salvadoran immigrants to the United States.
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Source: What Do Number 13 Tattoos Mean? [2022 Information Guide] – Tekmonk Bio, What Do Number 13 Tattoos Mean? [2022 Information Guide] – KOLNetworth, What Do Number 13 Tattoos Mean? [2022 Information Guide] – Blogtomoney