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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
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 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 ?
TATTOOS are increasingly common and perceptions of body art are changing to become more liberal.
AND STAYING IN GO ON, TAKE A goo D OLD 8-PAGE GANDY in puzzle OUR MAG SEVEN DAYS: SCOTLAND'S BEST FOR SHOWBIZ mag 40 GREAT PUZZLES and Kathleen used body art to mark beating breast cancer
The growing popularity of body art has lawmakers working hard to keep up.
King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite - formerly known as Mathew Whelan - said he was in a fight to keep his arm after his latest bodywork was rejected by his body.
The line features designs derived from intricate tribal body art called batok.
Together with the body art industry, the Food and Drug Administration, the Association of Food and Drug Officials, and state and local regulators, NEHA is working to revise its Body Art Model Code (BAMC).
King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-ite, to give him his full name, will strip in a search to find his perfect partner on Channel 4's new show Science of Attraction, made by the producers of hit show Gogglebox.
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.