Gone are the days of a single stud in each ear. Women and men have pushed this limit as far as we think it can go! Some have taken it to the level of piercings up the entire length of the ear, with plugs, multiple lobe piercings, tragus, and piercing the cartilage in every way possible. In short, piercings are done throughout the entire appendage that is the ear.
Humans have always had a severe attraction to beauty. And with this, an ever-present desire to create more of it. Since early history, people have been adorning themselves with beautiful treasures, both found in nature and created with artisan skill. The oldest mummified remains, dating 5300 years ago, was discovered with a pierced ear. The earliest dated earrings ever found were discovered in the city Ur, of Sumeria, which was home to Abraham of Biblical fame. The Bible mentions the wearing of earrings, and the piercing of the ears on multiple occasions. Earrings, as well as historical evidence of ancient ear piercings can be traced to cultures around the world, including China, Russia, India, Greece, the Tlingit peoples of the Pacific Northwest in North America, Egypt, and the ancient Romans, who were the first to decorate their ears with precious jewels.
Since the 1970’s, when the Punk movement set out to challenge all conventional ideas of beauty and art, earrings developed an enormous power of making fashion and social statements. The punks ceremoniously wore safety pins in their ears, and generally embraced traditional piercings from other cultures, making it fashionable to practice such customs as earlobe stretching. This desire to embellish with ornaments made way for ears to be pierced in so many different ways. Today, whether you are punk, or simply without a label, an appreciation for ear piercings stretches across all boundaries of modern culture.
Some of the most common ear piercings aside from the lobe include:
The Rook: in which the antihelix of the ear is pierced. Generally very painful because of the great amount of cartilage in the area.
The Conch: this piercing is done through the cartilage of the back of the ear. The area pierced is literally through the large amount of cartilage above the earlobes.
The Tragus: a piercing of the small projection of cartilage and skin in front of the ear canal. This area does not contain a large number of nerve endings, and is considered to be less painful than other areas on the body.
The Anti-Tragus: Just like the name says, this area of the ear is exactly opposite the tragus. Above the lobe, this area is a less common site for piercing because most people do not have a sufficient amount of cartilage to pierce.
The Helix or Cartilage: A piercing can be done on the top rim portion of the cartilage of the ear, known as the auricula. This has become one of the trendiest, and most glamorous piercings in recent years, with many models and actresses sporting it.
The Snug: In the middle of the ear, on the interior portion of the external cartilage this piercing can be placed. It is directly above the anti-tragus.
The Daith: Between the rook and ear canal, this piercing is similar to the snug because of its depth and structure.
The Industrial: Also known as a scaffold, is a dual piercing of two holes, connected by a certain piece of jewelry. Generally, both if these holes are in the upper cartilage of the ear. When a person wears two or more Industrials in a single ear, it has been dubbed an “ear cage.”
People from all walks of life have different types pierced ears. Presently, it is entirely common for parents to have their infant daughters’ ears pierced. In India, this is a very common practice, and baby girls often have their ears pierced at several days old. Teenagers who love to express themselves and their individuality from their counterparts, and adults who simply adore the ability to enhance themselves in a new way are all part of the vast community who enjoy conventional, and nonconventional ear piercings.