Tongue piercings are one of the most historic forms of the controversial art form. In terms of body piercings, tongue piercings are definitely among the hardest to comprehend for some people. But the truth is that this is not a recent occurrence, nowhere near, in fact. Tongue piercing has been around for a very long time. Not necessarily tongue rings or barbells, but the idea of piercing one’s tongue as a sign of beauty or status is an old one. How old? Read on to find out.

Early History

Roots of tongue piercing can be traced back to the Aztec and Maya cultures. Illustrations made around that time, show priests piercing their own tongue, then either passing through rough chords, expressly to inflict pain on themselves, or drawing blood from the wound. Despite this, and the Aztec’s reputation for body piercing for fun and god-worship, there is no evidence of the Aztecs doing this particular form of body piercing as anything other than a sacrifice to the gods. There are also traces of this practice in far eastern religious practices, as a means of demonstrating trance state.

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20th Century and onward

After the turn of the 2th century, British and American carnies borrowed many of their tricks and illusions from middle eastern Fakirs, including the act of piercing your own tongue. This, as you can surmise, is where people first got the idea of tongue piercings planted into their minds.

Lull and resurgence

For a few decades after that, with the exception of ear piercings which never really went out of fashion, other forms of piercings just kind of dropped off the face of the earth. The decades rolled on, until somewhere in the 1980’s, where surgical steel barbells, and the means of implanting them safely, exploded into popular media. And among the forms leading this charge was none other than our old pal the tongue piercing. Seen as the risqué option, even among other fans of piercing, the tongue piercing nonetheless saw a giant surge in popularity in the coming years.


The initial craze has died down, as all crazes do, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone away. Piercings are now a normal part of life, and body art. And tongue piercings have only become more common in the world of body piercings.

If you are interested in receiving a tongue piercing of your very own, talk to the experts over at  They can give you a variety of options, to get you a tongue piercing that’s right for you.