Spiritual Tattoo: A Cultural History of Tattooing, Piercing, Scarification, Branding, and Implants

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Frog Books, 2005 - Art - 244 pages
2 Reviews
Say "body modifications" and most people think of tattoos and piercings. They associate these mainly with the urban primitives of the 1980s to today and with primitive tribes. In fact, as this fascinating book shows, body mods have been on the scene since ancient times, traceable as far back as 1.5 million years, and they also encompass sacrification, branding, and implants. Professor John Rush outlines the processes and procedures of these radical physical alterations, showing their function as rites of passage, group identifiers, and mechanisms of social control. He explores the use of pain for spiritual purposes, such as purging sin and guilt, and examines the phenomenon of accidental cuts and punctures as individual events with sometimes profound implications for group survival. Spiritual Tattoo finds a remarkable consistency in body modifications from prehistory to the present, suggesting the importance of the body as a sacred geography from both social and psychological points of view.

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User Review  - mkboylan - LibraryThing

This is one of those books I had waiting for me to read in retirement, which has been five years now! There were two things that intrigued me about tattoos and I wanted to learn more. One, I began ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

John A. Rush, Ph.D., N.D., is a Professor of Anthropology at Sierra College, Rocklin, California, teaching Physical Anthropology and Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion. Dr. Rush's publications include Witchcraft and Sorcery: An Anthropological Perspective of the Occult, The Way We Communicate, Clinical Anthropology: An Application of Anthropological Concepts within Clinical Settings, and Stress and Emotional Health: Applications of Clinical Anthropology. He is also a Naturopathic Doctor in private practice.

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