History Of Ear Piercing

Ear piercing tradition is said to have started about 5000 years ago by the Europe’s oldest mummy named Otzi, who was found on the border between Austria and Italy with her ears pierced.

Other ancient proofs of ear piercing, as a fashion or a tradition, are the carved images of soldiers who had their ear lobes pierced on the walls of the Persian Empire.

It’s also said that the pharaoh, Tutankhamun (yes! you can also call him King Tut) who was the king of the new Empire Period also had his ears pierced. The proof of it lies in his death mask in which the ears were holed as well but the holes were covered with discs.

The tradition of wearing earrings became famous in Western Europe at the time of English Renaissance i.e. in late 16th century. It’s said that at that time and even before it, earrings were most worn by sailors who wore them for 2 reasons: a few of them perforated their ears as a symbol of achieving an accomplishment of having sailed the world, or crossing the equator successfully. While others had a perception that perforation of their ear would improve their eyesight.

However in the 16th century ear piercing became a high end fashion among the gentlemen who would wear gold, stone or pearl earrings to show off their elite status.

In the 1800’s ear piercing was at its peak in the Ainu culture, however in the late 1800’s the Japanese government placed a ban on men wearing earrings. In the late 1800’s the ear piercing trend started to decrease and the clip-on earring trend started to take off.

Then after 1950, once the war ended, there was a boom in the economy and women started spending on their looks and this is when the ear piercing trend bounced back. The trend gained popularity to such extent that by the 1970s teen girls threw piercing parties, where friends pierced each other’s lobes using a needle and an ice cube to numb the area. Soon kiosks for ear piercings started to pop up in malls and even doctors started the practice of ear perforation.

Now fast forward to today ear piercing shops are very common.

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