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-For our Immune Compromised clients, please contact us at adornsafely@gmail.com for masked accommodations.

-We remain appointment only with no children under 8, however, we will accommodate walk-ins for piercing troubleshooting and other urgently needed services whenever possible.

-Any of our unmasked staff will gladly mask upon request.

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We kindly ask of you:

-If you have had a recent exposure to COVID-19, please reschedule your appointment for another time.

-If you’re feeling under the weather, please reschedule your appointment for another time.

-Please follow the CDC guidelines if you are exposed to or have symptoms of COVID-19.

Thank you. We look forward to seeing you at your appointment with Adorn!

Tongue Piercing: Past to Present

June 3, 2014 6:02 pm Published by

Piercing the tongue has been around for many moons. It has been traced back to the Mayans of Central America and the Ancient Aztecs. Mayan people pierced their tongues regularly by bloodletting for ceremonies and rituals. To increase the blood flow, they would draw a string back and forth through the hole (McNab). It has also been discovered that Mayan women would pull a thorn-covered rope through a hole in their tongues in a ritualistic fashion. This was done as a blood sacrifice as an offering and to honor their Deities.

Tongue piercing has also been practiced by the Haida, Kwakiutl, and Tlingit tribes of the American Northwest. The shamans would pierce their tongues to create altered states of consciousness in order to communicate with the powers that be and was considered a very holy practice.

In the Middle East Fakirs and Sufis also pierced their tongues as a sacrifice and to induce trance states. Fakirs are Holy men in India that are believed to have supernatural powers. They can walk on burning coals, pierce their body parts, and do other acts without harm to their bodies. It is in a trance state that makes this possible for them. It is in this trance state that Sufis are also able to pierce their tongues and other acts to the body without bleeding or harm done. Further East, Asian Spirit Mediums also pierced their tongues for the same purpose. In Australia Aboriginal holy men also pierce their tongues though the reason has not yet been recorded.

During the turn of the twentieth century, western carnies learned to pierce their tongues from Fakirs. They brought this practice to a sideshow performance setting. It was the American and European folk’s first sightings of such practices.

During the Ecstatic Penang Thaipusam Festival in Thailand, one can see ritual tongue piercing on the streets as well as many other piercings. This festival is a major Hindu festival and it is a day of consecration to the Hindu deity, Lord Murugan. During the festival, those that are pierced enter a trance state. In this state next to no blood is spilled and no pain is felt.

In the modern historical sense, the piercing was “first” done on Tattoo Sammy, a German artist, using a 10ga Dermal Punch in 1978 (documented in PFIQ if memory serves). In addition, Ripley’s Archive contains photos of sideshow performers not long into the 20th century wearing barbells in what appear to be healed tongue piercings (Tongue Piercing).

Paul King believes Elayne Angel popularized tongue piercing in modern-day culture. She is recognized as being the first person with a tongue tip and multiple tongue piercings.

Tongue piercing today has quite the following with celebrities such as Janet Jackson, Keith Flint, Mel B, and Malcolm Jamahl Warner from The Cosby Show.

In today’s culture, the popular tongue piercing is very provocative and is mostly practiced to enhance* oral sex and other sexual acts as well as to make a fashion statement.

*Note: It may only enhance. It cannot improve someone’s sexual skills. The piercing cannot do for you what you cannot do for yourself.


McNab, N. Body Bizarre Body Beautiful. new york: simon & schuster.

Tongue Piercing. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2008, from BMEZINE.COM Encyclopedia: http://wiki.bmezine.com/index.php/Tongue_Piercing

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Dani P.
Dani P.
Really great place. Awesome selection and professional staff. I've had a tattoo and nose piercing and I'd go back again for a new service.
Tammy K.
Tammy K.
I first came to Adorn to get my piercing I received at Slave to the Needle (in Seattle) checked, it was a Daith. I was developing a small pyogenic granuloma and Lia checked it out, suggested I use saline to clean it twice a day and even took pictures of it to determine progress if it gets worse later. I was told by Lia and my dermatologist that it might not go away, as some don't. But It cleared it RIGHT up!Then I went back because I took out all my piercings because I had to get an MRI. Lia was my piercer again and got it back in within minutes. It was a newer piercing so I was worried it had closed... and to my surprise it did a little but Lia was able get it right back in. It was tricky but she was patient and calming the whole time.I plan to get 2 more piercings and I'd love for Lia to do them. She was gentle and so knowledgeable. I'm also going to bring my daughter to get her ears pierced when she's a little older, and I pray pray pray Lia will still be here when my daughter is ready to get her ears pierced. I don't think I'd want anyone else touching my little girls ears besides anyone at Adorn!! Id especially love for Lia to do it but I haven't had the pleasure to meet any other piercer (might be fate though.. when I made the appointment I just made it for available piercer and both times I got Lia).Oh and the jewelry here is AUHMAZZZING I want them all!!!Fair prices and amazing selection.Definitely coming back soon!!!
Megan P.
Megan P.
Had a lovely experience at my appointment and leading up to my appointment. Everyone was very nice and the place was very clean. Only bummer was they didn't have the jewelry I wanted in gold. Will be going back though for sure.
Reva P.
Reva P.
Stop what you're doing and make an appointment to get something pierced with Dana. He is amazing and a total expert in his craft! Plus his patience is close to sainthood. I was so anxious when I got there and he was able to put me at ease and answer all of my dumb questions. Plus he is so personable that you feel very comfortable which is a necessity when someone is putting a hole in your body. I cannot recommend this place enough!
Ruby H.
Ruby H.
I had my septum re-pierced and philtrum pierced recently here. 2+ piercings in 1 session gets you a discount, which is awesome! The team at Adorn is APP certified- meaning they are extensively trained in safe piercings from clean stations to clean jewelry practices- they are experts at what they do. They have jewelry options for different price points- lots of stainless steel, inexpensive and beautiful jewelry options as well as a wide variety of gold, white gold, and gemstone jewelry on the pricier end. I love that they offer more luxurious and high-end jewelry here. My piercer was Dana, he made the experience very relaxing and I felt super comfortable. They answered all of my questions, and their team deeply cares about the people who come into their shop. Im so happy with my new piercings, I highly recommend Dana and Adorn Body Art.
Gabby L.
Gabby L.
I got my lip pierced here today by Zandr and he was very nice and made me feel very comfortable also he was very fast which I really appreciated because I was nervous and prefer to get it done and over with as quick as possible which he did! Everyone was also very nice and the place was very clean and professional.
jennifer b.
jennifer b.
I took my daughter (8 years) to get her ears pierced. Dana was so calm, informative, and kind. He made the experience easy. My daughter is thrilled. Everyone working there were extremely nice. I would highly recommend Adorn!