(redirected from Body art)
Also found in: Medical, Wikipedia.


painting, tattooing, or scarification (cutting or burning) of the body for ritual, esthetic, medicinal, magic, or religious purposes. Evidence from prehistoric burials, rock carvings, and paintings indicates that body-marking existed in ancient times; ethnographic studies show that it is still practiced today. Markings may indicate religious dedication or alliance with a particular god; they may also serve as protection against some evil such as a disease, as identification with a certain group, such as the tribe, or as evidence of personal rank or status within the group. Among examples of the widespread custom of painting the body are the red ocher found in prehistoric burial sites, the blue woad of the ancient Britons, kohl used in Asia to enhance the beauty of the eyes, the use of henna on the fingernails in the Middle East, and the war paint of some Native Americans. The tattootattoo,
the marking of the skin with punctures into which pigment is rubbed. The word originates from the Tahitian tattau [to mark]. The term is sometimes extended to scarification, which consists of skin incisions into which irritants may be rubbed to produce a permanent
..... Click the link for more information.
 is an extension of the practice, and ancient evidence for it dates to c.3000 B.C., on the body of a mummified man found in the Alps in 1991. Scarification was used in ancient times as a property mark for slaves and more recently in Europe and elsewhere, until the latter part of the 19th cent., for the identification of criminals. Besides being employed for magical or ritual purposes, scarification has also been used for its supposed curative powers. The forms used in Africa include stretched lips and earlobes, filed teeth, and flattened skulls.


See W. D. Hambly, The History of Tattooing and its Significance (1925); H. Field, Body-Marking in Southwestern Asia (1958); W. C. Handy, Forever the Land of Men (1965).

References in periodicals archive ?
Britain's most tattooed man, Matthew Whelan, of Bordesley Green, has forked out more than PS40,000 on body art and modifications.
Tapping into the fashion world's passion for body art, the HTC One M9 INK is the first of its kind and delivers a body art-inspired one off illustration which is engraved onto the back of the phone.
he has changed his name to King of ink Land, King Body Art, The Extreme ink-ite, but you can call him Body Art for short.
People's reasons for getting tattoos are varied - some wish for a permanent symbol of commitment or devotion, others are expressing a defiance of convention or authority, still others are attracted to body art for aesthetic reasons.
The 24-year-old actor is a massive fan of body art and would love to have a quote by his favourite playwright Samuel Beckett etched across his body, but thinks his mum and dad would be angry if they found out, the Daily Star reported.
The body art will be worn by the Cheer Channel Superstars of All Stars and special guest cast and will be seen and promoted throughout the show.
Nearly four tattoo parlours a week opened last year, as Brits go body art bonkers.
Officials have refused to issue a new document to 34-year-old King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite, previously known as plain Matthew Whelan.
And thus, also in the 1960s, body art evolved from performance and conceptual art.
The 31-year-old Radio 1 DJ, who has spoken in the past about her love of for body art, said that she had second thoughts about "one or two" of her inkings.
The Want U Back singer, who has 20 pieces of body art, always wanted to be a performer so never heed warnings about her job prospects.
BODY ART 4 provides a range of bizarre and amazing body art that goes far beyond your usual focus on tattoos to cover facial cutting, sewn-up skin, and more.