A research of the history of ear gauging suggests the practice to be as aged as recorded human history. For males, this kind of ear piercing has been a image of status, even though for girls, in addition to currently being utilized as usually means of bodily decoration, it has also been used to signify the attainment of womanhood.
Ear gauging, which is also referred to as ear stretching, is the stretching of ear lobe piercings to bigger diameters than that of the authentic piercing. It is a kind of body improvement or beautification that many younger western men and women adopt to appear ‘different’ from the usual group. Nevertheless, this is not a modern-day kind of body piercing, since it has been around for as prolonged as archaeological records exist.
In many circumstances, ear gauging has been utilized traditionally to reveal the standing of members of a particular tribe, and in many respects this is even now the situation currently. Stretched piercings have been, and even now are, a reflection on the individual’s sexual functionality and also their superiority over other males in the tribe. The bigger the stretching, the extra essential the specific.
Otzi the Iceman is a primary illustration of mummies recognised to have stretched ears. This is the earliest recognised illustration of ear gauging, Otzi getting 7-11 mm ear piercings throughout 3300 BC. It has been advised that the stretching of the ears mentioned in depictions of Siddhartha Gautama, far better recognised as Buddha, may perhaps have been induced by the bodyweight of the gold jewelry he wore, but this is mere supposition.
It is supported, nevertheless, by the reality that the Masai tribe of Kenya and the Lahu and Karen-Paduang men and women of Thailand use this ‘gravity’ approach to extend their piercings. Let us have a appear at the ear gauging techniques utilized currently by various cultures.
A. Mursi Tribal Women of all ages
The Mursi is an Ethiopian tribe wherever the girls are obliged to put on plates in their gauged ears and on their bottom lip. About a 12 months prior to her relationship, or at about 15 years of age, a Mursi girl’s lip will be pierced by her mother and a wooden peg pushed by means of the incision.
After healed, the peg is modified for a bigger diameter a person. Inevitably, the peg is changed by a plate of clay or wood, and this plate is successively modified for bigger diameter types right up until the demanded diameter is attained – from around 8 – 22 cm in diameter (3 – 9 inches). After these plates have been secured, she gets a higher diploma of regard than those people without the need of them, and is recognised as a ‘Bhansanai’.
These lip and ear plates need to have not be worn forever, but are an envisioned adornment throughout specific situations such as throughout weddings and other celebrations, and when they provide foods to males. Today, younger girls can generally make their individual determination as to regardless of whether or not they observe this tradition.
B. The Masai People today of Kenya
The practice of ear gauging has been frequent among Masai males and girls for hundreds of years. In latest years, nevertheless, most younger males have not been following this tailor made, even though you will even now find many Masai girls donning ear decorations created from stones, cross-minimize elephant tusks, wood and animal bones.
The authentic piercing is carried out employing a thorn, sharpened twig or a sharp knife stage. After healed, ear gauging is then carried out by donning significantly hefty jewelry that pulls the lobe down and stretches the piercing. This is the standard way of gauging ears in the extra primitive cultures, even though many Masai currently will use proper ear gauging methods, such as their individual versions of insertion tapers or taper spikes. Beads are a frequent kind of ornamentation, even though plugs created from bone, tusks and wood are also utilized.
C. The African Fulani Tribe
Fulani girls from Nigeria and Central Africa tend to use more compact diameter ear gauges, and adorn them employing large gold domes or hoops carrying earrings. A Fulani youngster will have her ears pierced at around 3 years aged, even though they may perhaps not be stretched right up until she is older. The gauges utilized by Fulani girls are rather smaller as opposed to the Masai and Mursi, even though the jewelry can be bigger.
D. Asian Hill Tribes
Of the various hill tribes, the only two recognised to practice ear gauging are the Lahu from Thailand, and the Karen-Padaung (Longnecks) from Myanmar (Burma) and also the Phrae province in Thailand. That latter tribe are best recognised for their neck rings, providing the physical appearance of prolonged necks, but each cultures consider the ear to be sacred and the extra jewelry they can put on on the far better. By gauging their ears, they are equipped to put on the utmost volume of jewelry they consider feasible.
E. Mexican and Central American Civilizations
In Mayan and Aztec culture, ear gauging was regarded as desirable for males. There are many Mayan representations of males with flares and ear plugs (ear spools) in gauged ears, and the product utilized was indicative of the social standing of the wearer. Jade ear plugs had been worn by the higher courses, even though the rest would use bone, stone, wood and other components. In central Mexico, the craftsmanship of the Aztecs is apparent in the ear gauging plugs and ornaments of gold and silver, though the decrease courses would adorn their stretches earlobes with shells, copper and wood among many other imaginative components.
Ear gauging has been carried out around the globe, and among other notable regions associated in this practice are Japan, wherever the Ainu utilized ear jewelry created from shells, bone and a ball and ring recognised as Ninkari. There are many other cultures around the globe wherever ear gauging was a aspect of their life, and even currently many men and women regard ear stretching as a trend statement and a way of expressing their individual identity and individuality.