Flickr user Kid Deuce has put together a photoset called The Golden Age of Gang Graffiti filled with tons of photos of Latino Gang graffiti (including a lot around Los Angeles) from the early 70’s. About this photo he writes:
Block letters with drop shading but still within genre of Chicano graffiti. It has been said that “Wilmas” is Wilmington in Spanish. While this is not true, “Wilmas” was the name adopted at least 50 years ago by gang members from the Los Angeles Harbor area community of Wilmington.
“W S” stands for “West Side”, as opposed to their cross town rivals on the “East Side”. This is an important distinction to Wilmingtonians, who have a long and violent history of feuding over these respective territories.
While the photos of the graffiti itself is interesting, I’m completely in awe of this Graffiti Field Guild that he’s included scans of as well. Apparently this little booklet was given out the Los Angeles police officers and included translations and decoding tips for the markings that were just starting to show up on neighborhood walls. I wonder if I can find a copy of this on ebay?