2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

From Shaman to the Sex Pistols: Tattooing and Body Modification in a Cultural Context
Elizabeth M. Piel
Prof. Shirley McKamie, Faculty Mentor

Throughout the world, youth continually test the boundaries of their cultural mores and traditions. Many turn to the art of tattooing and other forms of body modification as signposts for their individuality and as a means of creating a physical separation between them and what is socially acceptable. However, no matter the personal reasons, each participant is inextricably linked to the history of the art form. The study of body art across the world reveals man's need to retain a sense of identity while living within the constraints of society. From 18th-century Polynesian rituals to the 1970s London underground music scene, man has used his body to define, display and preserve the most significant pieces of his personality and culture. With skin acting as a canvas, the rich history of man may be permanently recorded.

Keywords: Tattooing, Body Modification, Scarification, Role of Music, Punk Movement

Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 49-3
Location: OP 2113
Time: 3:15

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