A History of Body Piercings

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Piercing of the body actually goes way back into history. In fact, the oldest known body piercings are in excess of five thousand years old. These ancient piercings consisted of two large plugs that were inserted into a man's ears. In addition, the Egyptians in ancient history also practiced all sorts of body adornments. Belly button piercing was restricted to the pharaohs of the time. However, earrings were common among the well-to-do citizens of Egypt.

In fact, throughout the centuries, some form of body piercing has been in existence at one time or another. This practice seems to serve different purposes for different people, groups and cultures. Sometimes, it is done as a ritual. Other times, it is done purely for aesthetic purposes. It is even practiced to indicate social standing in some areas.

For instance, the Aztecs, Mayans and American Indians all practiced tongue piercing as part of a religious ritual in order to bring them closer to their Gods. In addition, the Mayans and Aztecs pierced their septum, with items such as boar tusks, as part of appearing to be fierce warriors to their enemies. Other warriors and tribes of the world used not only tusks, but different types of bones and feathers as part of enhancing their appearance.

Central and South Americans sported lip piercings to draw attention to their lips. These piercings often held elaborate gold, jade and/or gemstone adornments or large wooden plates to draw attention to and/or increase the size of the lip. The larger a wooden plate used, the more the lips become stretched. This is deemed as attractive in some cultures.

Between the Dark Ages and the Renaissance period, the interest and practice of body piercings waned somewhat. Yet, the Renaissance brought with it a renewed interest, and many different types of piercings were used among royalty.

In the 1960's, nose piercings were brought to the Western world by travelers who witnessed the traditional nose rings worn by women in India. From then, until now, many other types of body piercings also have become popular within the last couple of decades. Belly button, lip, tongue, chin and eyebrow adornments are quite popular among celebrities and other people today.

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Randy Blythe has 1 articles online

A history of body piercings gives us insight into why people get the piercings they do today.

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A History of Body Piercings

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This article was published on 2010/05/09