Body Modification in the Western World Analytical Essay by mmahon

Body Modification in the Western World
A closer look at the culture of tattoos, scarification, and body piercing.
# 59790 | 2,023 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2005 | US

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Body modification, the act of altering the body, either temporarily or permanently, is a practice that has existed for centuries. This paper examines two forms of body modification: tattooing, including scarification; and body piercing. It explores them in historical, psychological, and sociological frameworks.

From the Paper:

"The word "tattoo" is believed to be derived from a Tahitian word meaning "to mark." The act of tattooing itself is believed to be over ten thousand years old, and it has had a multitude of uses throughout history. Tattoos play an important role in tribal and cultural rituals. In fact, ancient Greeks used them as part of a sophisticated espionage system. In addition, in early times Romans used tattoos to mark criminals and slaves so that they would clearly stand out. In Borneo, women would have symbols of special skills or talents tattooed on their forearms, thus alerting potential marriage partners of their marketability."

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"Body Modification in the Western World" 03 July 2005. Web. 27 September. 2023. <>