The Untold History of Tribal Jewelry

The Untold History of Tribal Jewelry

The Basics

Since the dawn of time, people of all groups have sought to beautify and protect themselves for one reason or another. Some achieved this by wearing specific garments and clothing. Others wore jewelry that represented their place in the tribe. In this article we’ll be looking at jewelry, specifically, the tribal earrings buy here and their uses! Bottom line, piercings, and body modding has and always will be around.

A Crash Course On the History Tribal Piercings

First thing’s first. Body modification is adorning piercings, tattoos, and the likes for non-medical reasons like a rite of passage or aesthetic reasons. Though there are myths that state piercings are a new, up-and-coming trend, there is lots of evidence proving that wrong. Piercings date back to prehistory, specifically 3,000 BCE but we’ll get to that in the next section.

The Tribal Connection: How Piercings Were Used During Ancient Tribal Times

Fun fact!! Back in the days of olde, tribal earrings served a more spiritual purpose. Real talk, primitive tribes believed that demons and other spirits could enter one’s body through the ear. Luckily enough for them, they believed that one way to avoid this was ear piercing! That being said, historically, body modifications were used for more than aesthetics.

In Borneo, there’s a tribal ritual where both mother and father pierce a child’s ears. This is a symbol of their child’s dependence on them. How amazing, right?

In India, the Rajasthan-Banjara tribes used weighted piercings as status symbols.

In the bible (a holy text for the modern-day “tribe” of Christianity; like a how-to book on life but ancient) facial and ear piercings are mentioned twice. Once in Genesis 24:22, where Abraham gave Rebekah a golden nose ring “of half a shekel in weight.” That’s close to 8 grams, quite the weight for a piercing. The next time these things are mentioned is in Isaiah 3:21 where it is detailed that the apocalypse will “take away adornments, garments, hoods, and veils.” Earrings included.

Possibly the oldest mention of earrings has to be 3,000BCE. When a group of tourists stumbled upon a mummy named Ötzi on the border between Italy and Austria. Archaeologists eventually found his ears had been pierced. This makes him the oldest person to have piercings ever.

A close second oldest mention of “modern piercings” (and I use that term very loosely) is Julius Caesar who used earrings to represent his status in Rome. What a legend, right guys?

So What Does It All Mean?

Tribes all over the world have used earrings, nose rings, and other types of piercings since the dawn of time. Status, religion, aesthetics, and even individuality are among the reasons for such adornments as these. From African Tribes to Christianity to older tribes like the Bastar (Indian Tribe). Either way, you look at them, piercings have always stood for something. Be it wealth, spirituality, symbolism, or just for fun!