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In the realm of body modification, scarrification along with branding are one of the more taboo practices in western culture. Scarrification by term, is a permanent means of body modification that in many cultures perfects the body, such as plastic surgery does in western society.
Scarrification is preformed by puncturing, or cutting patterns or motifs into the upper levels of skin. When the cuts heal, keloid scars will remain. Many different tool are used to produce different types of scars, ranging from the more subtle to the more pronounced and extreme effects. (IE cutting the flesh with a razor and pulling it back will yield a larger raised scar. In turn with this means of scarrification, soot may be used to make the scarring more pronounced.
The effects that are achieved through scarrification as a whole, is the right of passage into adulthood in many sub African cultures. In some of these communities one who doesn’t done the scarrification marks are deemed un-worthy to be a family member, or unattractive to the opposite sex.
Most of the time the complexity and the beauty of the designs depend on the tolerance of pain of the recipient. Often times, the ability to withstand the painful process of scarrification is an indication of the emotional maturity of a young woman, and her ability to bear children. Unfortunately, this is a dwindling practice due to an overwhelming influence from religion and state.
While taboo in the western culture, to those who immerse themselves into the diverse world of body modification it is just another way to alter their appearance, or to become closer to the history of body mod. While this may seem extreme to most, this old age rite of passage is no more brutal or taboo, than the tattoos that have found a common place in western society.
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