Welcome to Traditional Arts of the Altered Body (TAAB)

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Welcome to Traditional Arts of the Altered Body (TAAB)

Welcome to the Traditional Arts of the Altered Body forum!

For more information about TAAB you can visit the website at www.thealteredbody.com/taabvision1.html 

This forum is a relaxed and safe space to discuss forms of body alteration and modification in a variety of contexts, hoping to develop interest in and understanding of the wealth of different body alterations across culture, geography and time.

To help us to understand this, we developed definitions and themes some years ago and they still guide us today. These are available below.

Enjoy your time here!

Cat x

What are Traditional Arts of the Altered Body?:

“Traditional” is defined as a practice spanning at least three years and participated in by at least 30 people.

“Arts” is defined as a practice that changes the aesthetic appearance of the human form (including the face and hair) according to a cultural norm.

Thematic areas explored by Traditional Arts of the Altered Body:

People use their bodies, particularly skin, to communicate with others, and they purposefully alter their bodies to this end:

  • People alter their bodies to conform to cultural ideals
  • People alter their bodies to resist cultural ideal
  • People alter their bodies to communicate membership in a group
  • People alter their bodies to communicate individuality outside of a group
  • People alter their bodies to enhance their hierarchy within a group
  • People alter their bodies and their children’s bodies for the purpose of cultural reproduction
  • People alter their bodies with culturally significant symbols
  • People alter their bodies to manage risk
  • People may alter the body of another to alter that person’s status
  • People may alter the body of another to elevate that person’s status
  • People may alter the body of another to punish that person