A Brief History of Body Piercing

A Brief History of Body Piercing

24 Apr 2019

Ever wondered where your body piercing originated? Well, here's a brief Wikipedia history of some of the more popular piercings.

Ear Piercing

Ear piercing is one of the oldest known forms of body piercing, appearing in both artistic and written references from cultures around the world dating back to early history. Gold, silver and bronze hoop earrings were prevalent in the Minoan Civilization (2000-1600 BCE) and early evidence of earrings worn by men was found in archaeological evidence from Persepolis in ancient Persia.

Eyebrow Piercing

Compared to other body piercing, eyebrow piercing has a relatively short history. It was introduced by the punk subculture in the 1970s as a fashion statement.

Lip/Labret Piercing

Lip and labret piercings have been widely practiced throughout the world and were historically found in some tribal cultures in Africa and the Americas. Perhaps the most well-known example are certain African tribes, who wear large decorative lip plates or discs in the lower lip.

Navel Piercing

Some sources say that navel piercing was popular among ancient Egyptians, while others claim that there is no evidence that actually exists to support this. What we do know is that it was introduced to modern society by supermodels who graced the runway in the 1990s with their bellies pierced. Since then it has become a highly popular female piercing.

Nipple Piercing

In the western world nipple piercing potentially dates back to the 14th century. It later became a fashion trend among society women during the Victorian period when low cut dresses were fashionable. Reports about nipple piercings were featured in magazines such as Vogue at the end of the 19th century.

Nose Piercing

Nose piercing dates back thousands of years and is even mentioned in the bible. It is primarily associated with Indian culture and fashion since classical times and is found commonly in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Philippines, and throughout South and Southeast Asia. It is also a part of traditional Australian Aboriginal culture. With the diffusion, exposure, and spread of Indian fashion and culture, nostril piercing has in recent decades become popular in the wider world, especially after punks in the '80s began to adopt this type of piercing.

Tongue Piercing

Piercing the tongue has a long history in religious and performance practices. Ritual tongue piercing was practiced by the ancient Aztecs, Mayans and other Central American tribal people, though there is no evidence of permanent or long term tongue piercing in Aztec culture. The increasing availability of high quality, surgical steel barbell style jewellery in contemporary society is associated with the emergence of this piercing in the 1980s.