The Art of Piercing is an ancient skill. Tribals in many parts of the World are Masters of this Art. The oldest mummy ever found that of an affluent male was from the date of 5300 BC. Named Okzi, this was a man of high fashion. Not just his accouterments, but his huge collections of Piercings, all over his body, proved his status in Society of that time. The most difficult (and risky) of his varied piercings, and perhaps the rarest, was his Collar Bone Piercing.
What Is It?
The Piercing of the Collar Bone, also known as the Clavicle, is a surface dermal operation. It is located in the uppermost part of the chest, just below and along the collar bone.
These piercings are often placed in the hollow at the base of the throat, for the sake of perfection in symmetry. Two types of collar bone piercing are the most popular.
In the first type, body jewelry is pierced through the skin of the collar bone area. In the second type, the jewelry is passed below the collar bone itself, leaving visible studs above and below the bone.
This is, in fact, the most dangerous type of collar bone piercing, because it involves penetrating the muscle and leaves the client prone to nerve damage and severe systemic infections.
This is, therefore, a rare and dangerous form of piercing, and needs specialized training on the part of the Piercer. Certification and Authorization are considered important pre-requisites before such piercing is allowed.
That our Ancients were capable of such delicate surgery even in 5300 BC is a fantastic tribute to their skill and knowledge, as it is to the high watermark of their civilization.
Body Alteration or Modification is the conscious transforming of physical appearance or human anatomy. This is ideally done to display affiliation or group membership, religious beliefs, rites of passage, sexual enhancement or aesthetics.
It is sometimes done in remembrance of vivid and sentimental lived experience. Traditional symbolism has played a large part in the history of piercings, as well through mythological representation. Mental constructs play a large part in the display of body piercings.
Sometimes Shock value is the reason for piercings, particularly for the Young, to attract attention to themselves, and become the focus of attention. The contemporary day today embraces Piercing with a fervor that is truly amazing to outsiders, but since it is a continuation of sorts of age-old tradition, it is gradually being accepted by Elders of all color.
Piercing is no longer considered outlandish in Democratic Societies, except by some prudes. Of course, Dictatorships still come down like a ton of bricks on rebels sporting pierced or tattooed torsos.
The Clavicle is also known as the Collar Bone. It is a long bone that serves to connect the Shoulder Blade to the Sternum or the Breast Bone. The name Clavicle comes from the Latin ‘Clavicula’, which means ‘Little Key’.
This is because the bone rotates along the axis like a key when the shoulder is abducted. The Clavicle is the only horizontal long bone in the body. There are two Clavicles, the Left Clavicle, and the Right Clavicle.
The Shoulder Girdle is made up of the Clavicle and the Shoulder Blade. The Clavicle builds a skin bulge and is visible. This openness and its lightness make the Clavicle, a frequently fractured bone in the body.
Any sudden force on the brittle Clavicle can crack it, such as – a direct hit or from a fall on outstretched arms. The most common site of fracture in the Collar bone is the junction between the two curvatures of the bone, which is its weakest point. This may also result in the perforation of the overlying skin. Thus, piercing of the Collar Bone is a very delicate business, and the Piercer must be careful not to leave any serious damage to the body of the Client.
Is It Painful?
The Collar Bone Piercing is considered quite painful. But not all piercings are equally painful. In general, the degree of pain varies with the location in the body, as follows:
- The least painful piercings are said to be located at earlobes, Navel, Tongue, and Eyebrows.
- Dermal or Surface piercings, cartilage Piercings, Septum, Labret, Nostrils and male Intimate Piercings are considered as Medium Painful.
- But Piercings in Sensitive Areas, particularly of the covered or genital regions, are considered the most painful.
- Some areas are particularly open to infection as well as pain during the operation as well as during recovery. Collar Bone Piercing is considered in this class. It is the Deepest Piercing known to Man. Topical Anesthesia has to be used for these locations, not only to render the operation bearable but also to prevent sudden movements due to shock during the progress. This may result in disaster, and consequent infection can become a major hazard. Specialized training is strongly recommended for the Piercer, as well as the Wearer making an effort in advance to learn about the subject, before going under the Piercer’s needle (or punch, or scalpel, or whatever surgical tools he prefers).
The Collar Bone Piercing takes a minimum of 12 Weeks to heal. It is always advisable to visit the Piercer for his final check-up and permission before attempting to remove or replace any jewelry.
The immune system of the Wearer’s body may reject the piercing or attendant jewelry. The body’s immune system may treat the jewelry as a foreign object or unacceptable intrusion in the natural biology of the skin.
Many Wearers have been forced to have the jewelry removed after only a few months, after the strong antibiotic, anti-histaminic and anti-inflammatory medication has failed, and analgesics have proved inadequate. However, the good news is that this is an occasional “occupational hazard”, and happens to a small number of would-be Wearers. Other Wearers often enjoy the attention of others for years to come, perhaps as a recompense for all the risk and the pain.
The Collar Bone Piercing may be carried out by experienced Piercers in a reasonably short time, taking time out for antiseptic cleaning of the site before the operation, and Topical Anesthesia if required, and desired by the Wearer.
However, Recovery takes a long time from this kind of Piercing, often up to 12 weeks after the operation. During this period, keeping this sort of piercing clean is a difficult matter, which requires Disinfection at least twice daily, maybe more, in line with the instructions of the Piercer.
While some wounds heal by eight weeks, others may take up to twelve weeks. Some wounds do not heal at all, even after years have passed.
Traditional And Modern Piercing
The Collar Bone of the human Torso has been lavished attention since time immemorial. As part of the Frontal Girdle, and as the only horizontal strut in the Human Body, it is brittle and fragile.
Body armor from Ancient Times took care to protect this area from sudden thrusts by the enemy and shock. The carapace design of many a composite helmet, resembling a tortoise in battle, was meant to deflect decisive strikes to immobilize the warrior.
But Piercing in this area is a delicate operation. Tribal Cultures in Africa and the Americas are still practicing piercings for reasons discussed already. Collar Bone piercing is used extensively by the Ibos, Ga, Twi tribes of Western Africa’s Nigeria and Ghana, The Masai of Eastern Africa’s Kenya and the tribes in Mexico descended from the ancient Aztecs.
But modern celebrities have brought back this ancient art to the focus of the public again. Intricate and eye-catching jewelry displayed, just above and below the Collar Bone, of Star’s bodies, only add to the attraction. Collar Bone piercing is of course no longer used for traditional reasons such as Group Identification, Religiosity, and Social Class, but the simple reasons for Social and sexual attraction.
Video Credit: Chey Wasworth
The Collar Bone style of piercing is truly a Modern Art form. The world-famous Grammy Award-winning singer Rihanna has both a piercing with beautiful jewelry as well as a lovely message tattooed on her Collar Bone.
It says “never a failure, always a lesson” in reverse. Rihanna had the message reversed so she can read in the mirror and raise her spirits when in darkness.
Famous people like David Beckham, Zayn Malik, Justin Bieber, Shailene Woodley and so on are known for the beautiful jewelry present on their Collar Bone piercings.
Online designs for jewelry to match the beauty of each Collar Bone, and the fantasies of the Wearer, are now widely available. Would-be wearers can now simply surf the Net to come up with a winning design.
And a list of certification and verification of trained Piercers are available in each advanced country. Collar Bone Piercing has now truly become a coveted 21st Century body trademark.