NOSE PIERCING HISTORY
Nose piercing is very attractive, and can accentuate the
face, because the nose is the face's most prominent feature;
Leonardo Da Vinci believed that the nose set the character
of the whole face.
Nose piercing was first recorded in the Middle East
aproximately 4,000 years ago, it is mentioned in The Bible
in Genesis 24:22 Abraham requested his oldest servant to
find a wife for his son Isaac, the servant found Rebekah,
and one of the gifts he gave her was a "golden earring" the
original Hebrew word used was Shanf, which also translates
This practice is still followed among the nomadic Berber and
Beja tribes of Africa, and the Bedouins of the Middle East,
the size of the ring denotes the wealth of the family. It is
given by the husband to his wife at the marriage, and is her
security if she is divorced.
Nose piercing was bought to India in the 16th Century from
the Middle East by the Moghul emperors. In India a stud (Phul)
or a ring (Nath) is usually worn in the left nostril, It is
sometimes joined to the ear by a chain, and in some places
both nostrils are pierced. The left side is the most common
to be pierced in India, because that is the spot associated
in Ayuvedra (Indian medicine) with the female reproductive
organs, the piercing is supposed to make childbirth easier
and lessen period pain.
In the west nose piercing first appeared among the hippies
who travelled to India in the Late 1960's. It was later
adopted by the Punk movement of the late 1970's as a symbol
of rebellion against conservative values, and conservative
people like parents and employers still don't react well to
it, so consider their reaction carefully before getting it
Nowadays nose piercing is gradually becoming more socially
acceptable, and many celebrities have their nose pierced
i.e. Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, Sinead O'Connor, and Slash from
Guns & Roses.
TONGUE PIECEING HISTORY
Tongue piercing was practised in a ritual form by the
ancient Aztecs, Mayas of Central America and the Haida,
Kwakiutul, and Tlinglit tribes of the American Northwest.
The tongue was pierced to draw blood to propitiate the gods,
and to create an altered state of consciousness so that the
priest or shaman could communicate with the gods.
Tongue piercing is one of the most popular piercings, it's
shocking, provocative and fantastic for oral sex (for both
sexes), but at the same time no one need know you have it.
Janet Jackson, Keith Flint from Prodigy, Mel B from the
Spice Girls and Malcolm Jamahl Warner from the Cosby show
all sport pierced tongues.
EAR PIERCING HISTORY
The ear-lobe was probably man's first attempt at body
piercing due to the ease with which it can be pierced. The
oldest mummified body in the world was found frozen in an
Austrian Glacier in 1991, tests showed the body to be over
5,000 years old. The body had pierced ears and the holes had
been enlarged to 7-11mm diameter.
Ears were probably first pierced for magical purposes, very
many primitive tribes believe that demons can enter the body
through the ear, because demons and spirits are supposed to
be repelled by metal, ear-piercing prevents them entering
the body. Sailors used to have an ear pierced to improve
eyesight, and if the bodies washed up somewhere it would pay
for a christian burial. In many societies ear piercing is
done as a puberty ritual, in Borneo the Mother and Father
each pierce one ear as a symbol of the child's dependance on
Ear piercing is an almost universal practice for men and
women, it's only in western society that it's deemed
effeminate. At various times in history men wore elaborate
earrings; during the Elizabethan era many famous men such as
Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raliegh and Francis Drake wore gold
rings in their ears.
"As the Roman Republic grew more effeminate with wealth and
luxury, earrings were more popular among men than women; no
less a he-man than Julius Caesar brought back to repute and
fashion the use of rings in the ears of men."
"Jewels & Women; The Romance, Magic and Art of Feminine
Adornment" Marianne Ostier, Horizon Press, New York, 1958
LIP PIERCING HISTORY
The piercing of the lips for the insertion of objects into
them is very widely practised throughout the world, however
only two tribes pierce the lips with a ring; the Dogon tribe
Of Mali, and the Nuba of Ethiopia. Among the Dogon the
piercing of the lip has religious signifigance, they believe
that the world was created by their ancestor spirit "Noomi"
weaving thread through her teeth, but instead of thread out
came speech. All the other lip piercing that is practised in
the world is done with labrets, which can either be a pin of
wood, ivory, metal, or even in one case quartz crystals.
Among the tribes of Central Africa, and South America the
Labret piercing is stretched to extremely large proportions,
and large wooden or clay plates are inserted.
Among the ancient Aztecs and Mayans labret piercing was
reserved for male members of the higher castes, they wore
beautiful labrets fashioned from pure gold in the shape of
serpents, golden labrets with stones inset and ones of jade
or obsidion (labret in Aztec "Tentetl"). The Native
Americans of the Pacific Northwest, and the Inuit peoples of
northern Canada and Alaska wore labrets fahioned from walrus
ivory, abalone shell, bone, obsidian, and wood.
The Makololo tribe of Malawi wear lip plates in the upper
lip called Pelele. The African explorer Dr. Livingstone
asked a chief the reason for this, in surprise the chief
answered "For beauty! They are the only beautiful things
women have. Men have beards, women have none. What kind of
person would she be without Pelele ? She would not be a
woman at all."
"The plug of wood in the lips, which became little by little
a disk, and then a real plaque, was in some manner a sign of
possession of the husband of the Djinja woman. It is the man
who is to marry her, and very often him alone who operates,
transfixing the lips of the young girl with a blade of straw
forms the first sign of the deformation to which she will be
subject as an adult. It is in sum, a betrothal rite."
Dr. Muraz reffering to the Saras-Djinjas tribe, who insert
lip plates up to 24cm in diameter in both lips. Chari River
South of Lake Chad in "Nudity to Raiment" Hilaire Hiler
SEPTUM PIERCING HISTORY
The piercing of the septum is probably the second most
common piercing among primitive peoples after ear piercing,
it's even more common than nostril piercing. It's probably
so popular for the same reasons as nose piercing, with the
added attraction that the piercing can be stretched and
large pieces of jewellery can be inserted, i.e. pig's tusks,
pieces of bone, feathers, pieces of wood, etc.
The septum piercing is particularly prevalent among warrior
cultures, this probably has to do with the fact that large
tusks through the septum give the face a fierce appearance.
The use of septum tusks is very prevalent in Irian Jaya, New
Guinea and the Solomon Islands, pig's tusks being the most
popular. Among the Asmat tribe of Irian Jaya the most
prestigous septum tusk is the "Otsj" this is a large bone
plug, which can be as thick as 25mm. They are usually made
of the leg bones of a pig, but occasionally they are made
from the Tibia bone of an enemy slain in battle.
The Septum piercing was beloved by the Aztecs, the Mayans,
and the Incas. They wore a variety of jewellery, but jade
and gold were the most popular because of their religous
associations. The modern day Cuna Indians of Panama continue
this practice by wearing thick pure gold rings in their
The piercing is also popular in India, Nepal, and Tibet, a
pendant "Bulak" is worn, and some examples are so large as
to prevent the person being able to eat, the jewellery has
to be lifted up during meals. In Rajasthan in Himachal
Pradesh these Bulak are particularly elaborate, and
Septum piercing was widely practised by many North American
Indian tribes, the name of the Nez Perc, tribe of Washington
state, stem from their practice of piercing the septum, Nez
Perc, is French for Nose Pierced, and was given to the tribe
by the French fur traders. Australian aboriginals pierced
the septum and passed a long stick or bone through the
piercing to flatten the nose, they believed a flat nose to
be the most desireable.
Among the Bundi tribe of the Bismarck Ranges of Papua New
Guinea the piercing is performed using the thin end of the
Sweet Potato plant (Ogai Iriva), usually at age 18-22. The
age at which the piercing is done varies greatly between
different tribes, some tribes perform the rite at age 9-10.
"You were lost in the bush and now you have come back. You
have come back mature; you are men. When you return to your
hamlet many girls will come after you. But if you have lived
well, and if they come after you, all the well. You will now
have your noses pierced to allow you to sing with girls and
lead a life like that of your elders. Your (Kangi Poroi)
caused you to go to all this trouble, now it will be over."
Source: Address by tribal elder to young men undergoing the
(Kangi Poroi) manhood ritual. Source: Field notes of David
G. Fitzpatrick 1977 in "Bundi, the culture of Papua New
Guinea people" Ryebuck Publications, Nerang Queensland
THE HISTORY OF NAVEL PIERCING
Navel piercing is a modern invention and has never been
recorded in primitive cultures; however the navel has long
been recognised as an erogenous zone, because of the
difference between men's and women's stomachs. Women's
stomachs differ from men's in that they are more rounded in
the lower part, are longer than men's, have a greater
distance between the navel and genitals, and are more deeply
recessed than men's; these features are often exaggerated by
artists to make women appear more feminine in paintings.
The invention of the Bikini in 1953 caused a big stir
because the navel was seen as being sexually provocative
because of it's similarity to the female genitals. The
Bikini revolutionised women's lives, along with the
liberation of their clothes their lives in general became
more liberated. The process was completed when Madonna
started the craze for showing of the midriff in the 1980's.
The ability to flaunt their sexuality in public gave women
more power and confidence in themselves.
"It is easy to pinpoint the moment when body piercing went
mainstream. Christy Turlinton came out at a London Fashion
show, and in the middle of her navel was a ring! The next
day Naomi Campbell showed the world that anything Christy
could do, so could she. A gold ring with a small pearl
pierced her navel. And then at Isaac Mizrahi's show the two
came out together, navels bared and beringed: body piercing
as a Supermodel totem" Suzy Menkes The New York Times
"I have the most perfect belly button - an inny. When I
stick my finger in my belly button, I feel a nerve in the
centre of my body shoot up my spine" Madonna Time Magazine
"I like it, I think it's fun!" Naomi Campbell. "I always
thought it was a pretty feminine thing to do - and you can
always take it out" Christy Turlington.
Shortly after Naomi and Christy had their navels pierced no
one was surprised when Madonna, Cher and Janet Jackson were
seen wearing navel rings. Now anybody can joins the ranks of
Celebrities and Supermodels by having their navel pierced.
NIPPLE PIERCING HISTORY
Roman Centurions wore leather armour breast plates which
were shaped to fit the body and rings were sometimes placed
in these breastplates where the nipples appeared to be, the
rings were used to hang a cape from. This has led to the
belief by some people that the actual nipples were pierced
to hang a cape from, but anybody who has had their nipples
pierced would tell you that this would be a very
"In the middle of the 14th century...Many women suddenly
wore 'such low necklines that you could see nearly half
their breasts', and among the upper classes in the same
century, Queen Isabella of Bavaria introduced the 'Garments
of the grand neckline', where the dress was open to the
navel. This fashion eventually led to the application of
rouge to freely displayed nipples, those 'little apples of
paradise' and to placing diamond studded rings or small caps
on them, even to piercing them and passing gold chains
through them decorated with diamonds" "Dreamtime" Hans Peter
In the late 1890s the 'Bosom Ring', came into fashion
briefly, and sold in expensive Parisian jewellery shops.
These 'Anneux De Sein' were inserted through the nipple, and
some women wore on either side linked with a delicate chain.
The rings enlarged the nipples and kept them in a state of
constant excitation...the medical community was outraged by
these cosmetic procedures, for they represented a rejection
of traditional conceptions of the purpose of a woman's
body." "Anatomy & Destiny" Stephen Kern
"For a long time I could not understand why I should consent
to such a painful operation without sufficient reason. I
soon, however came to the conclusion that many ladies are
ready to bear the passing pain for the sake of love. I found
that the breasts of those who wore rings were incomparably
rounder and fuller developed than those who did not. My
doubts were now at an end...so I had my nipples pierced, and
when the wounds were healed, I had rings inserted...with
regard to the experience of wearing these rings, I can only
say that they are not in the least uncomfortable or painful.
On the contrary, the slight rubbing and slipping of the
rings causes in me an extremely titillating feeling, and all
my colleagues I have spoken to on this subject have
confirmed my opinion." London socialite writing in "Vogue"
Nipple piercing was once practised by the Karankawa indians
of Texas adn is still practised in the Mountains of Algeria,
by women of the nomadic Kabyle tribe. In the west nipple
piercing has made a resurgence, with many famous people
having their nipples pierced ie. Lenny Kravitz, Jaye
Davidson (The Crying Game), Gerry Connelly (Comedian), Tommy
Lee (Drummer Motley Crue- Husband of Pamela Stephenson
Baywatch) and Axl Rose (Guns & Roses).
The benefits of having your nipple pierced are the same
today as they were for the fashionable ladies of Paris and
London in the 1890s. It makes the nipples larger, more
sensitive, more sexually attractive, and provides a constant
stimulation of the nipples, one friend of mine describes his
nipple piercing as "a lightswitch for an erection". Nipple
is very effective for increasing the size of small nipples (especially
men's), and can stop nipples from becoming inverted by
pulling them out. In fact, it was recommended by doctors in
Victorian England to increase the size of the nipples to
make breastfeeding easier. It provides greater sexual
pleasure because it gives your partner something to play
with during sex.
CLITORIS HOOD PIERCING HISTORY
The word Kleitoris was used over 2,500 thousand years ago by
the ancient Greeks to describe a part of the female genitals,
most probably the Labia Minora or Inner lips of the Vagina.
In 1593 at the trial of a woman accused of witchcraft, the
inquisitor (a married man) discovered a Clitoris for the
first time. When he saw this "little lump of flesh sticking
out to the length of half an inch" he decided that it must
be the "Devil's Teat". The other inquisitors, likewise
astounded, agreed and on this fact the woman was convicted
and executed for witchcraft. The word "Clitoris" first
appeared in the English language in 1615, it was used in an
early anatomy book to describe a small, sensitive organ
located underneath the upper apex of the Labia Minora.
PRINCE ALBERT PIERCING HISTORY
The Prince Albert piercing is named after Prince Albert who
was the husband of Queen Victoria of England. He was
reputeded to have had this piercing done prior to his
marriage to the queen around 1825, at that time Beau Brummel
started the craze for ultra tight mens trousers. Because the
pants were so tight, the penis needed to be held to one side
or the other so as not to create an unsightly bulge. To
accomplish this some men had their penis pierced to allow it
to be held by a hook on the inside of the trousers, this
piercing was called a "Dressing Ring" at the time because
tailors would ask if a gentleman dressed to the left or the
right and tailor the trousers accordingly, tailors to this
day will ask if you dress to the left or right. Lost Tattoo
The Prince Albert Piercing is very effective for sex, that
is why it is the most popular male genital piercing. It
provides greater stimulation to both partners during sex,
and it has the added allure of being being somewhat kinky,
people always have to wonder what it would be like to have
sex with someone with a genital piercing. On top of all that
it makes the penis more aesthetically attractive, in the
same way as jewellery worn on the fingers.
FRAENULUM PIERCING HISTORY
The piercing of the Fraenulum is probably the second-most
popular male genital piercing, it is usually incorrectly
referred to as a "Frenum" piercing but this an abbreviated
version of the true word Fraenulum . The Fraenulum is the
small ridge of flesh joining the foreskin to the Glans of
the penis, in most cases circumcision removes or destroys
it, however in rare cases it still exists after circumcision.
I can only find one account of it occurring amongst tribal
"Amongst the Timorese of Indonesia, the Frenulum beneath the
glans penis is pierced with brass rings, the function of the
ring is to enhance stimulation during sex."
Die kunstlichen Verunstaltungen des Korpers bei den Batta.