“They pierce the cartilage of the nose within . . .”

And so Diego de Landa reported of Maya women of the Yucatan in the mid 16th century. It was also the custom for men and women to tattoo their bodies, pierce their ears, and file their teeth.

In ancient times, royal women performed auto-sacrifice by drawing a thorn embedded cord through their tongues! I’ll pass on that one!

Septum piercing is also practiced by some Kuna women (Panama and Colombia). In the past, girls had their noses pierced in infancy, today, many mothers eschew the practice to allow girls choice in the matter. Kuna women are also recognized for their fine reverse applique work known as “molas.”

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