Brief History of the Septum Piercing

These days you might find a septum piercing on one out of every five people, especially on trendy girls in cute styles of septum clicker, but that’s a far way away from where they began in society. The earliest piercing has been found (and still exists!) in a mummified person done 5, 300 years ago. When you think about that, doesn’t it make you question how much you really know about the history of the piercings on your own body? Well, here’s a more in-depth look into septum piercing - where it began and why!

Septum piercings are the second most common type of piercing in “primitive” societies in Jaya, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. But it has also historically been practiced by Aboriginal Australians and North Native American tribes. It is actually more common than nostril piercings! Why is this? Most think it’s because septum’s have the added bonus of being able to be stretched in order to fit large jewelry through. And by jewelry, I mean bones.

Bone Jewelry unlike the Kind We Sell!

The most common material used traditionally in septum piercings is the bone of pigs and their tusks. While it’s popular in Irian Jaya, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to use pig tusks, it is only the Asmat tribe of Irian Jaya that use an “Otsji”. This is septum jewelry made out of the leg bone of a pig, and sometimes they are made out of the bones of enemies killed in battles.

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What Does a Septum Piercing Mean?

You might have seen the caricatures of warriors with boar tusks pierced through their septum in order to order to scare off opponents. This isn’t actually too far off. While warriors commonly used their stretched septum piercing filled with bones (sometimes of their enemies) to scare off opponents and show tribes how fierce they are as a warrior, they were also used as a rite of passage into adulthood. 

Traditional septum piercings often happened between the ages of 18 and 22, but in some cultures were done as early as nine years old.

It was then adopted by Hindu Brides in the 1500s

In Hinduism, nose piercing has been associated with marriage. It was a way to honor the goddess of marriage, Parvathi. A decorated septum ring is worn by the bride-to-be to show that they are engaged. When they are married it is often swapped out for a smaller more conservative septum ring to show that they are married.

Did our brief history of septum piercing surprise you? Let us know why!