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The display or placement of piercings have been restricted by schools, employers and religious groups.
Nose piercing has been practiced by the Bedouin tribes of the Middle East and the Berber and Beja peoples of Africa, Many Native American and Alaskan tribes practiced septum piercing.The oldest mummified remains ever discovered were sporting earrings, attesting to the existence of the practice more than 5,000 years ago.Nose piercing is documented as far back as 1500 BC.Pierced adornments of the lip, or labrets, were sported by the Tlingit as well as peoples of Papua New Guinea and the Amazon basin.The practice of stretching the lips by piercing them and inserting plates or plugs was found throughout Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica and South America as well as among some of the tribes of the Pacific Northwest and Africa.The healing time required for a body piercing may vary widely according to placement, from as little as a month for some genital piercings to as much as two full years for the navel.
Early records rarely discussed the use of piercings or their meaning, and while jewellery is common among grave goods, the deterioration of the flesh that it once adorned makes it difficult to discern how the jewellery may have been used.
In the Talmud (Tractate Shabbat 64a), there may be mention of a genital piercing in the probition against the kumaz, which medieval French Talmudic commenter Rashi interpreted as a chastity piercing for women.
It is widely reported that in the 1890s, nipple rings called "bosom rings" resurfaced as a fashion statement among women of the West, who would wear them on one or both sides, but if such a trend existed, it was short-lived.
It was popular among the Aztecs, the Mayans and the tribes of New Guinea, who adorned their pierced noses with bones and feathers to symbolize wealth and (among men) virility.
Lip piercing and lip stretching were historically found in certain tribal cultures in Africa and the Americas.
Body piercing, a form of body modification, is the practice of puncturing or cutting a part of the human body, creating an opening in which jewelry may be worn.