There is a deep relationship between Mexican American identity and Chicano tattoo collecting. In California, as elsewhere in the US, the Mexican American community has historically been marginalised. The main purpose of my paper is to investigate the connections among the Chicano tattoo style, and its influence in building up a Mexican American identity and a sense of pride rooted in the Chicano community. Tattoos, as well as other Chicano arts, have constructed, produced and reproduced an aesthetic and conceptual identification of the members of the Mexican American community, providing a public voice for the different yet complementary expressions of the barrios, those parts of Los Angeles where poor and mostly Spanish-speaking people lived, that became the centre of attraction for the newcomers from Mexico. Chicano tattoos reflect and empower the strong sense of self-identity within the Mexican American community.