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Spotlight Piercing: Nostril

Nostril piercing has one of the longest and richest histories of any type of body piercing. Having been practiced for over 4,000 years, nostril piercing originated in the Middle East, then traveled to India and beyond; it took thousands of years to become a common practice in western civilization.The Book of Genesis describes Abraham’s son Isaac giving his future wife, Rebekah, a golden “Shanf,” which is Hebrew for “golden earring” or “nose ring.” The practice of men gifting gold nose jewelry and rings to their future wives is one that continues to this day among the Bedouin tribes of the Middle East and the Berber and Beja tribes of Africa. These treasured gifts are intended as a form of insurance that represents financial security; should a woman’s husband die or divorce her, she can sell her nose ring to provide for herself. 

Written by Emily Starkman, on