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Odd Mods: Foreskin Restoration

Posted by Charles LaFave

“To expose a long penis, and especially the head, was regarded as shameless and dishonourable, something we see only in depictions of slaves and barbarians.” – Paul Zanker, The Mask of Socrates   The pen is mightier than the sword, but the penis… Well, not so much. Throughout history there has been a clash of […]

Odd Mods: Breast Implants

Posted by Charles LaFave

Warning: Some graphic breast cancer stuff below. A body modification expert once told me that the reason doctors don’t perform modifications very often is because they will not alter the body from its ‘normal’ state for aesthetic reasons. Then we both laughed and laughed, because come on. Come on. And unsurprisingly, in recent years some […]

Deadmods Part 1: Shrunken heads

Posted by Charles LaFave

Sure, usually I write about the living. But in this series, I wanted to explore body modifications that happen after a person has died. These processes have produced some of the most amazing specimens in our history, and also resulted in some unexpectedly gruesome turns of events, as you’ll see below. We’ve all seen shrunken […]

The Noble Black Earstring

Posted by Charles LaFave

“Yet for thy sake I will not bore mine eare, To hang thy durtie silken shoo-tires there.” – Christopher Marlowe   In the time of James I (early 1600s), it became the fashion to wear a strand or three of black silk through the left ear. It was a bit of a high-class dandy-ish fashion […]

A Bit of Tattoo History

Posted by Charles LaFave

As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, there’s a tendency for body modification history to be erased somewhat because skin deteriorates so quickly, in most cases, and doesn’t leave much of a record for us. It’s only after mummies or frozen bodies are found that we see the real history of what people looked like, […]

Eye Tattooing – A Two Thousand Year Old Thing

Posted by Charles LaFave

“Galen is said to have been the first to tattoo the cornea for disguising opacities. He is said to have cauterized the opacity and then applied a paste composed of powder of gall-nut, pomegranate bark and a salt of copper. This, according to Panas, was the origin of tattooing. Anagostakis states that the ancient Greeks […]

The Smiling Tattoos of the Ainu Women

Posted by Charles LaFave

The word Ainu means “human” or “people” in the language of Ainu, which belongs to the indigenous people of Japan and Russia that carry the same name. Primarily associated with Japan, the Ainu have had a rough road over the last several centuries – a pattern that mimics the indigenous peoples of America and other […]

Sepik River Scarification

Posted by Charles LaFave

Among the Chambri people of Papua New Guinea, boys as young as eleven years of age are given scars all over their torso that resemble the scales of a crocodile. The process involves making small cuts, and then deliberately infecting them with ash from plants to form a keloid scar (A type of thick, raised […]

Renommierschmiss – Academic Fencing Scars

Posted by Charles LaFave

“My honour has at last been satisfied. A week ago, a ‘dummer junge’ named Schwartz stepped on my dog’s tail and I challenged him. The fight took place yesterday. Schwartz got a bad slash on his left cheek, and I got two cuts, one just under my eye and the other on my head. The […]

The Victorian Tattoo Craze

Posted by Charles LaFave

The British empire in the 1890s spanned the globe from Canada to Africa, India, Australia and chunks of Asia. Stories abounded in the popular British press of explorers meeting Maori people with tattoos ‘chiseled’ into their faces, of the painted ‘red men’ of North America, and of rough ‘gunpowder’ tattoos carved into the arms of […]

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