It was in a used bookstore that sold jewel encrusted poison rings, Wiccan altars, Buddhist prayer beads, and other unique antique goods that I first picked up a copy of Modern Primitives. I must have been around 12 years old, and I remember being fascinated immediately. It introduced me, and many others, to the underground world of body modifications, BDSM, and more, with in-depth interviews and essays on forerunners of the community such as Don Ed Hardy, Genesis P-Orridge, and Fakir Musafar. Fakir Musafar, in particular, was a founder of many piercing, suspension, corsetry, tattooing and other body modifications that were upheld in his practice as deeply ritualistic and sacred traditions.
Your body belongs to you. Play with it.
Like many people who enter alternative communities, Fakir was looking for a place and people who felt like he did. In an interview with Rebecca McClen Novick he said, "I always felt I was on the edge, on the fringes of society." And after discovering ancient and contemporary cultures who use body modification to not only alter their state of mind, but to become closer to their more authentic selves, he felt more at peace with this struggle. He goes on to explain that pushing himself beyond conventional limits was a great release, "...From that day on I was liberated. I felt free to express life through my body. I had an insight, an understanding - my body is mine to use. It’s my media, my personal living canvas and living clay to mold and shape and mark as an artful expression of the life energy that flows through it. Your body belongs to you. Play with it."
For many people Fakir Musafar was not only a body modification legend, but also a spiritual healer and guru; someone they could look up to. Fakir and others helped make it possible for people like me to walk around with so much more bodily freedom than in past decades. I feel honored to have found his work so young, and to have seen the incredible possibilities that our bodies and minds can experience through honest exploration, caring support, and community. Tattoodo sends our love and positive thoughts to Fakir's family and friends in this difficult time. Thank you for your empowering and enlightened work Fakir. Rest in Power.