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People are now getting themselves branded because tattoos weren't permanent enough

Posted by in offbeat
              

Body-branding is a painful practice often regarded as too cruel to inflict on animals, but that hasn't deterred tattoo enthusiast Kerri, who let Channel 4 film her first foray into more extreme body modification.

Sometimes called scarification, body-branding has a long and varied history, from Viking warriors who used to burn runes and symbols into their flesh, to branding thieves and criminals, and the colonial slavers who used hot irons to mark people as their own property.

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The body artist in the the short video, called 'Burning Desire', said he normally works at between 500C-700C when branding someone, depending on how sensitive the client's skin is.

Kerri opted for six Viking runes, all on her left arm. She said she was apprehensive but excited about the process, and her face as the artist begins to burn the first design into her arm pretty much says it all:

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"The smell was strange", she said. "It was kind of like when you use hair straighteners and leave them on for too long."

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Despite the pain Kerri said she was chuffed with the results. "Body modification is a way of wearing your heart on your sleeve, it's a fantastic way of expressing yourself," she said.

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Scarification is undergoing a popular resurgence: body art parlours all over the world have started to offer the service in recent years.

You can watch the Channel 4 video here.


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