The Magic of the Mandans- a Look at the O-kee-pa

O-Kee-Pa is the name given to a religious and spiritual rite among the Mandan tribe. It was done yearly when the willow trees along the rivers were in full bloom. It recalls a time when a great flood killed all the inhabitants of the world, and the first Mandan survived on a great canoe. A bird came to them with a willow branch in full bloom and showed them back to land, where they settled and lived out the rest of the tribe’s life. Each year, they recreate this ceremony, and welcome warriors into the tribe after a ritual of fasting, and body suspension, as well as pray to the gods for food, fertility, and fortune. This us one of the most well documented and known ritual practices of suspension, although even still documentation is scarce. Few outsiders were lucky enough to witness this ceremony, however, those that were published some records of it to keep these traditions alive. The book O-kee-pa was originally authored by an American painter named George Catlin in 1867. It covers his month-long stay with the Mandan Indigenous Peoples in 1832. Catlin, formerly a lawyer turned painter, spent years living among Indigenous peoples, painting them and documenting their unique way of life. He quickly realized war and disease were encroaching on the western tribes and rushed to document their lives. It is this book, referenced by Fakir Musafar in Dances Sacred and Profane as one of the inspirations for him to do the O-Kee-Pa and meet the Great Spirit. Continue reading

Still Life with Frenum Loop (NSFW)

Pierce with a Pro 4: The Frenum. ©Gauntlet Enterprises 1980.

At first glance, this photo, taken April of 1978, is a still life featuring a penis and a bouquet of flowers. I’d flipped past it dozens of times when looking through stacks of photos that need to be scanned without noticing that the model was wearing a ‘frenum loop’ – that little glint of gold behind his coronal ridge. Photographed some two years before PFIQ’s Pierce with a Pro 1 article gave step by step instructions for would-be piercers to try their hand at piercing a frenum, this slightly blurry and water damaged forty-plus year old print highlights the sexual functionality of a pierced frenum as an ad hoc cock ring. 2 Continue reading

BUD LARSEN for Drummer

Bud Larsen cartoon

Illustrator Bud Larsen’s iconic black and white line drawings helped establish the visual aesthetic for the early issues of both PFIQ and DRUMMER magazine; like a kinky Al Hirschfeld his style was light on color/shading and heavy on technique, line weight, and overall badassedness. These illustrations from early Drummer 1  issues could easily go toe to toe with other more well-known 1970s magazines cartoonists like Bill Ward, Jack Davis, or Gahan Wilson.

Images © Bud Larsen/Drummer

Nodal Points Issue Three: Spanish Edition

One of the only downsides of moving content from the archives of Sacred Debris back into the world of print after two and a half decades is a lack of quick and easy translation; for the interviews we’ve posted online, for better or for worse, most modern web browsers allow readers all over the world to have access to the history we’re sharing. Sure the translations can be a little clunky (body piercer, it seems, can translate to body driller. Which sounds kind of badass, honestly) but at least they’re available.

The zines, however – up until now they’ve only been available in English. Thankfully, we have some pretty amazing friends, and with the assistance of Nahuel Burgos and a small team of multilingual proof-readers, we’re pleased as punch to be able to offer the latest issue of Nodal Points in a Spanish translated edition.

Better yet, we’ve decided to match Nahuel’s generosity by donating 100% of the gross monies collected between January 10th-January 31st for this edition to a charity to be determined – we’re leaning towards a charity that provides aid and services to families affected by the policies at the Southern US border.

These zines will be coming directly from the printer.

US Customers: https://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/8513806/c6f594e39b7c88403020e779e2b3bf7519e77283

UK/Europe: https://www.blurb.co.uk/bookstore/invited/8513806/c6f594e39b7c88403020e779e2b3bf7519e77283

(the English language edition can be found here: https://www.blurb.com/b/9773006-volume-3-nodal-points)

En este número de Nodal Points, Ari profundiza en la carrera y la influencia del perforador corporal retirado Vaughn. Hablando con el, antiguos empleados, clientes y amigos, indagamos en su carrera desde Modern Primitives hasta la apertura del estudio de perforación corporal más longevo del mundo. Con Vaughn, Joey y Melissa, Duncan Vann, Greg Kulz y Blake Perlingieri.

Knoxville 1986

For better or worse, tattoo conventions used to be a common meeting place for devotees of body piercing; while discretion was often necessary on the convention floor, 1 piercing fans would find community in the privacy of their convention hotel room; clothes coming off to reveal the piercings hidden from the more conservative tattoo crowd at large.

In 1986, at the Knoxville Tattoo Convention, a group of friends that included, among others, Jack Yount (not pictured), Sailor Sid Diller, T.R.A.S.H. publisher J.D., Silver Anchor’s Ed Fenster, Marv from Australia, and Emil G, did just that – enjoying each other’s company, shedding their clothes, and having a little fun. Continue reading

Notes:

  1. “Since Ed Hardy had brought the subject of piercings up at the I.T.A.A. Reno Convention in 1977 (he felt, as did the overwhelming majority of Artists there that piercing did not belong at a Tattoo convention and should not be linked to tattooing. I.T.A.A. Members voted there and then not to have piercing at future conventions) it was decided on (by the suggestion of Bob Shaw) not to allow facial tattoos or piercings at the National Tattoo Conventions. This was to be a Convention to promote Tattooing and only Tattooing.”  – Source: http://runningthegauntlet-book.com/BME/jimward/20050329.html. 

Stick ’em with the Pointy End.

Stick ’em with the pointy end: A brief history of the piercing needle.

How is a piercing done? With a needle. It seems like a pretty easy, straight forward answer. But it hasn’t always been that way. While modern body piercing has access to some of the best, most well-crafted needles we could ask for, such wasn’t the case twenty or thirty years ago. In fact, just having access to needles was unheard of for a bit. The needle is one of the most important factors in a safe, correctly done body piercing. Without a good needle, the entire piercing experience can go sideways (or crooked). So, let’s delve into the history of the piercing needle, and how we got to the modern design we all use today.

In the ’60s and ’70s piercing was still very much underground. We were a few years away from the opening of the gauntlet in 1975 by Jim Ward. Piercing was primarily a fetish in the Leather/BDSM scene, practiced in the darkest corners of already forbidden back rooms and clubs. Since this was being practiced by people who wouldn’t dream of going out and trying to get supplies for their extracurricular activities, they made use of what they had. Sharpening wire, and using modified ice picks and nuts and bolts was common.

“There was nothing available at the time so it was crude. I’m not sure about the years, but in the ’60s and ’70s, that’s what they would use. The material was the same LVM surgical stainless steel but they would polish with diamond dust on a wheel to get rid of any porousness it had called orange peel. By the time they were done, it looked like a mirror! I can’t imagine the level of determination these people had. The ice pics were solid of course, and I never saw use of any of it. I came after that, but I imagine it was horrible.” –Ken Dean, Silver Anchor.

Continue reading

BSTA: Michael Mulcahy

Ari – I’m super excited for us to do this Michael. Thanks so much for speaking with me today.

Michael – This is tough because I feel like in general I’m a pretty private person, especially with this history and timeline. I don’t think, besides my spouse, there’s a single person I’ve ever talked my timeline over with because it just never seems relevant to my interaction with another person. You know what I mean? The whole, “hey, listen to me!” To me it’s a difficult process but we’ll get through this and hopefully it doesn’t feel like I’m talking too much.

Ari – I don’t really plan out these so we’ll just start with an introduction and let the conversation go organically. First I like to do a brief synopsis though – maybe some information about Marigold, where you started out, and anything else you’d like to include.

Michael – I’ve been piercing for twenty-six years- that has been a long pathway. I currently own Marigold with my wife Jessica, who pierces and tattoos. We have additional tattooers who are there as well as a nurse who does microblading. I’m there sometimes for certain piercings. I do all the genital piercings, the septum piercings, surface work, and anything in relation to difficult anatomy. Other than those few times throughout the week, I’m not there like on a scheduled basis – it’s really appointment only. I’m in school full-time and work other jobs besides Marigold, so I’m busy. I’m in school for biochemistry at Norwich University – which is actually the oldest military college in the United States – It’s the birthplace of ROTC. It’s an interesting environment to be in as a civilian. But as we talk about this timeline, I did sort of leave piercing for a while and do other stuff (while still piercing) including the military and a deployment to Afghanistan. It’s been a convoluted path! I work as a critical care paramedic for a level one trauma center teaching hospital. We live in Montpelier, Vermont – a tiny little town in beautiful Vermont, and it’s great to be in a little town with this shop we’ve created. We love it, it feels perfect, and it’s been twenty-six years between starting and now – it’s like a lifetime.

Ari – Seriously. That’s like twice the average career for a piercer. Continue reading

Bosoms, Body Modification, and the Beau Monde: A Look at Victorian Nipple Piercings

1600-1800’s France was an interesting and wild time, historically speaking. Everyone was partying at the palace of Versailles, a symbol of all the opulence the world could offer. King Louis was regularly drawing the ire of the church for the debauchery his palace and it’s infamous parties were known for. Fashions were getting outrageous and necklines on gowns were getting lower and lower till it was fashionable to show a whole breast at court. 1 This style was sometimes referred to as “Garments of the Grand Neckline” referencing how low the neck of these dresses would dip- sometimes to the navel.  Continue reading