Pachuco Cross Tattoo Meaning and symbolism

The pachuco cross tattoo is an old Mexican and Chicano tattoo, first created in the 1930s. It’s most often a symbol of protection and may signify being part of a gang or group. It’s not just for men, though; plenty of women have been known to get it too!

pachuco cross arm tattoo
pachuco cross arm tattoo @jonnyrottenn

The design can vary depending on where it is on the body, but always includes two in-line crosses. One crosses the other at their intersection points, often intersecting with or touching either another set of lines that form a square or rectangle (which may be filled). It can also include diamonds or bautizos around the outside border of one cross.

The pachuco cross tattoo is usually done in black, though a few can be found in red. The drawing is done with the cross on the inner part of the arm or hand. It’s often done on the inside of the forearm, but can be done on other areas of the body – and it’s possible to get two crosses drawn together so they don’t overlap each other!

What it means: The symbolism varies depending on who you ask – though basically it’s a way to express gang loyalty. It may signify being part of a gang or group, and also show protection and commitment to that group. It may also just be an old Mexican symbol that was adapted by Chicano gangs in California.

Pachuco Cross hand Tattoo
Pachuco Cross hand Tattoo @ primo1938

So, what does a Pachuco cross tattoo mean?

Well, the cross is a common symbol used by all types of societies and cultures around the world as a representation of their faith. When it comes to this tattoo design, though, it’s not so much about religion or spiritual beliefs as it is about representing your cultural roots and embracing the Latino identity.

In fact, the Pachuco cross is not related directly to Christianity. It is more of an old Aztec symbol which represents Xipe Totec, a god in their pantheon.

Xipe Totec, also known as “Our Lord of the Flayed One” was regarded as a symbol of new vegetation and rebirth. He was often depicted wearing the skin of his sacrificial victims.

What’s more, this design is also associated with those who identify themselves as part of the pachucos subculture.

pachuco cross tattoo

What’s the best body place for a Pachuco cross tattoo?

The traditional Pachuco cross design is typically supposed to be worn between the thumb and the fore finger. It’s often accompanied by the initials of the bearer or their street gang affiliation.

That said, we can’t say that you will get in trouble if you decide to place it somewhere else. If done right and with a respectable size, you won’t break any laws.

The problem is that with the growing popularity of this trend, it has become harder to tell who is associating themselves with an old subculture and who just likes the style.

That’s why most tattoo artists prefer not to ink this design on people if they are not sure about their motives.

pachuco cross tattoo

What’s the best color for a Pachuco cross tattoo?

The most common color for this sort of tattoos is black. It’s not only easy to match with any skin tone but also looks more elegant than a simple black and gray version.

Final thoughts

The main reason we believe that the Pachuco cross tattoo means so much to those who wear it is that this is a great way to acknowledge the struggles that they faced in their youth.

It’s also an opportunity to express your identity and set yourself apart from others, especially if you join one of those gangs that still wear this design as part of their official uniforms.

Above all else, though, this tattoo means nothing but great pride in who you are and where you came from.