One might think of piercing as an invention of modern age. But the history of body piercing can be traced back to thousands of years. The practice has suddenly resurfaced and grown more popular in the modern era. With sterilization pouches to sterilize ornaments and scales or a digital scale to weigh them, the process has become speedier. However, in ancient times, it was not this fast.
Perhaps, it was due to the plain reason that the practice was common in jungle tribes. Some of the religious castes in India and the Pharaohs are also known to have a deep indulgence in this practice. This means that it was mostly a part of some religious ritual. Apart from this, body piercing is a means to reflect personal expression.
Besides, it was carried as a symbol to distinguish the royals from a common man. In recent times, it is more of a style statement than any discerning element. As for the Egyptians, this was an exclusive privilege enjoyed by the royals. If anyone apart from the pharaohs attempted to get their navels pierced, they were punished.
Only the wealthy Egyptians had the right to get their body pierced. It was a means to exhibit their power and highlight their beauty. Moreover, they were interested in wearing elaborate enameled and gold earrings as they are the elements of nature.
It was not just the Egyptians, but the Romans were also involved in the art of body piercing. In this case, the reason was not just appeal, but to show commitment. It was a mark of loyalty that the centurions showed towards the Roman Empire which helped in uniting the army soldiers. Even Julius Caesar got his body pierced to show his prowess.
Also the Aztecs, Mayan civilization and a number of American Indians were involved in tongue piercing. It was basically a part of their religious ceremonies. According to them body piercing was a means to please their gods. In this regard, tongue piercing became an important ritual to show closeness to their gods. Moreover, the process of piercing was also a kind of ceremonial blood offering.
Another unique form of piercing was prevalent in some primordial tribes of New Guinea and Solomon Islands. They used bones, tusks and feathers as ornaments to beautify their bodies. This kind of piercing was conducted in a grand manner.
Even today, the girls in some African tribes get their ear, lip and nose pierced. This enables them to wear some sacred ornaments which are believed to protect them against evil spirits. It was also an identification mark to show an association to their tribe.
Some tribal cultures also employed this practice to get their ear lobes and ear rims pierced. Piercing of ears was, and is still common in North India, Egypt and African tribes. In Africa, for instance, some girls wear lip plugs when they get married.
To wrap it up, history is replete with examples that reveal the existence of body piercing in various cultures. However, today it is part of fashion. In any case, if you wish to get your body pierced, make sure the person knows the art.