History of nose rings

Written by lesley henton
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History of nose rings
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The practice of wearing nose rings dates back at least 4,000 years ago and is mentioned in the Old Testament. Nose piercing continues to be a tradition in cultures all over the world, and beginning in the 1960s, it became fashionable in the United States, especially among youth.

Early History

Nose rings were worn as early as 4,000 years ago in the Middle East and also appear in the Bible when Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, is given a nose ring as a gift on her wedding day, says Love to Know. Women in India have been wearing them since the 16th century when Mughal emperors brought them from the Middle East. According to Hindu Blog, Indian women usually wear a stud or ring in the left nostril, sometimes joining it to the ear with a chain; some pierce both nostrils. Both married and unmarried Hindu women wear nose rings, and the symbolism varies based on region. Some in India believe the left nostril is related to female reproduction and wearing a ring there eases the pain of menstruation and childbirth. To others, nose rings are a symbol of beauty and status. Nose piercings are also a tradition in some African cultures and reflect status; one is given to a wife by her husband when they get married.

History of nose rings
Nostril piercing with loop

Modern Fashion

Nose rings as an American fashion accessory started in the 1960s when hippies who had travelled to India began wearing them. Punk rockers in the 1970s and 1980s adopted the style as a symbol of rebellion. Nose rings came back into fashion in the mid-1990s and has continued into the 21st century; many types of body piercings are trendy and some cringe worthy, but the popularity of nose rings is second only to ear piercings. Nose piercings are now popular in many parts of the world including the U.K. and other parts of Europe, Canada and Australia. According to Painful Pleasures, celebrities such as Lenny Kravitz, Madonna and guitarist Slash sport nose piercings.

History of nose rings
Nostril piercing with stud


Most people who wear nose rings have nostril piercings; women are more likely to have this sort of piercing in which a loop or stud is pierced through the nostril. Nasal septum piercings, also known as bull rings, are less common and worn mostly by men. Such as a bull's nose is often pierced, these types of piercings go through the cartilage that divides the nostril. The types of jewellery worn in such piercings are usually horseshoe-shaped barbells or loops. Some people wear more unusual septum adornments, such as tusks, pincers, bones or other objects. The least common type of nasal piercing is called a "bridge piercing" in which the skin on the bridge of the nose is pierced; curved or straight barbells are usually worn in this location. In the United States, most people wear modest-sized nose jewellery, although some with edgier tastes may wear larger pieces and have multiple facial piercings.

History of nose rings
Septum piercing


Ear lobe piercing is usually less painful then having your nose pierced. The nostril is thicker than an ear lobe and requires more force to pierce. Pain level can be decreased when a thin needle is used. Piercing through the septum can be a bit more painful than a nostril piercing, but if the piercing is placed correctly through the thin strip of cartilage closest to the bottom of the nose, the pain is minimised.

History of nose rings
Bridge piercing

Healing and Care

Nostril and septum piercings can take up to 6 months to heal completely, according to Love to Know. Jewelry should not be removed for more than a few hours at a time because the hole can close quickly. It is important to keep the area as clean as possible. People who wear nose rings should be careful not to snag the piercing and to only touch the area while cleaning it.

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