Another form of body modification that is not as common as tattoos but that does use the same principle is known as scarification. Similar to tattoos, scarification is a process is which the skin is deliberately scarred so that it will leave a permanent mark. The marks left by scarification can be as simple as a line or they can be a much more intricate design. This procedure has its risks, but the risks are not as great as they were in the past. In its primitive stages, scarification was originally used by tribes. Tribe members would go through the process of scarification upon reaching a rite of passage or making a big achievement.
There are different kind of processes for scarification. The scars can either be branded or cut onto human flesh. One way of branding the scar is through strike branding. Strike branding is the same kind of branding that is used on cattle. A piece of metal is heated up and then placed against the flesh so it will imprint. Another form of branding on the scar is by laser branding. Laser branding usually comes out more precise. Electricity is shot at the skin so it cooks through the skin ,and it can be controlled to how much electricity is shot out. Cold branding is very similar to strike branding, but instead of the piece of metal being super hot, it is freezing cold. Instead of branding to make scars, scars can be cut into the flesh. One form of cutting to make a scar is to cut off the scalp off the skin to make the desired design. If one does not want to cut the flesh off, it can just be carved and then filled with ink. These resemble tattoos but have some differences. “Packing” is also another procedure for scarification. The difference between packing and the different form of scarification is that the wounds are filled instead of just let to heal. A tradition is to pack the cuts made with the ashes of dead family members. Cigar ashes could also be used and it causes the scar to become purple.
"Body modifications: Scarification (pics, poll) | Price Per Head Blog." Price Per Head News Blog. N.p., n.d. Web.
Guynup, Sharon. "Scarification: Ancient Body Art Leaving New Marks."Daily Nature and Science News and Headlines | National Geographic News. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 July 2011.http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0728_040728_tvtabooscars.html.
"What is Scarification?." wiseGEEK: clear answers for common questions. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 July 2011.