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Tribe Piercing: A Cultural and Historical Overview

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tribe Piercing

Body piercing is a form of body modification that involves creating holes or punctures in various parts of the body to insert jewellery or other objects. Body piercing has been practised by many cultures around the world for different reasons, such as religious, spiritual, aesthetic, sexual, or social purposes. One of the most ancient and widespread forms of body piercing is tribe piercing, which refers to the traditional piercings done by various indigenous tribes across the globe.

Tribe piercing can be found in many regions, such as Africa, Asia, America, and Oceania. Some of the most common types of tribe piercing are ear piercing, lip piercing, nose piercing, tongue piercing, and nipple piercing. Each type of tribe piercing has its own meaning and significance for the tribe members who wear them. Here are some examples of tribe piercing from different cultures:


- Ear piercing: Ear piercing is probably the oldest and most common form of body piercing. It is done by creating holes in the earlobes or other parts of the ear to insert earrings or plugs. Ear piercing can symbolize status, wealth, beauty, or identity for many tribes. For example, the Masai people of Kenya and Tanzania wear large ear plugs made of wood, bone, or ivory to stretch their earlobes. The size of the plugs indicates the age and social rank of the wearer. The ancient Egyptians also wore ear plugs to display their royalty and nobility. The pharaoh Tutankhamun had his earlobes stretched to 10 mm in diameter.

- Lip piercing: Lip piercing is done by creating holes in the upper or lower lip to insert labrets, which are pieces of jewellery or ornaments that can be made of wood, metal, stone, or other materials. Lip piercing can indicate beauty, sexuality, or affiliation for many tribes. For example, the Mursi people of Ethiopia wear large clay or wooden plates in their lower lips to stretch them. The size of the plate indicates the bride price that a woman can demand when she gets married. The Aztec and Maya people of Central and South America also wore lip labrets made of jade or gold to enhance their attractiveness and status.

- Nose piercing: Nose piercing is done by creating holes in the nostrils or the septum (the cartilage that separates the nostrils) to insert rings, studs, or pins. Nose piercing can signify strength, courage, or fierceness for many tribes. For example, the Asmat people of New Guinea wear large bone pins in their septums to resemble the tusks of a wild boar. The larger the pin, the more powerful and respected the wearer is. The Aztec and Maya people also wore nose rings made of jade or gold to adorn themselves and show their nobility.

- Tongue piercing: Tongue piercing is done by creating holes in the tongue to insert barbells, studs, or pins. Tongue piercing can represent spirituality, devotion, or sacrifice for many tribes. For example, the Aztec and Maya people practised tongue piercing as a form of ritual bloodletting to appease their gods and communicate with them. They would pierce their tongues with obsidian blades or thorns and offer their blood as a sacred gift. The Haida people of Canada also pierced their tongues as a sign of bravery and endurance.

- Nipple piercing: Nipple piercing is done by creating holes in the nipples to insert rings, barbells, or shields. Nipple piercing can indicate virility, loyalty, or unity for many tribes. For example, the Roman soldiers pierced their nipples to show their allegiance to their emperor and their comrades. They believed that nipple piercing would make them stronger and more courageous in battle. The Karo people of Ethiopia also pierced their nipples as a mark of beauty and fertility.
In conclusion, tribe piercing is a fascinating and diverse form of body art that reflects the culture and history of various indigenous peoples around the world.

Tribe piercing can express different meanings and values for different tribes, such as religion, spirituality, aesthetics, sexuality, or social status. Tribe piercing can also be seen as a way of honouring one's ancestors and traditions, as well as asserting one's identity and individuality.

Source: Tribe piecring- Wikipedia


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