Body modification has been a tradition for some people for hundreds of years. The Padaung, in Burma, are part of the Karen Lahwi ethnic group.
From an early age, the women wear rings, with more added periodically to make their necks longer.
A long neck is considered by the group to be a sign of beauty.
Their dedication to the tradition continues so they can be the most beautiful women of the tribe.
Stretching and ritual scarification are seen as a form of initiation into adulthood; expression of art; or it may distinguish a village or tribe.
In Djougou, Benin, tribal scars are displayed proudly. They aren't just for tribal identity. They also convey personal information.
They need to be done at a young age, but due to their importance, the kids are anxious to get it done.
They happily participate in the joyous ritual.
The pain is brief.
But the scars last for a lifetime.
Eventually the wounds heal.
The Chambri tribe in Papua, New Guinea, scarify to pay tribute to their origin legend.
They believe that man evolved from crocodiles, and became land-dwelling when they emerged from the Sepik River, which runs along the Chambri Lake.
So they scar their bodies to resemble crocodile skin.
The wounds have to heal in a controlled way to raise the scars so prominently.
The process is incredibly painful.
This video shows how these scars are made.
Circumcision is another popular body modification. It signifies that a boy is a full-fledged adult member of a tribe, with the accompanying privileges, such as hunting, becoming a warrior, and taking a wife.
The Ndebele, a bantu-speaking tribe from South Africa and Zimbabwe, has a two month circumcision ritual, during which each boy receives a tribal name that identifies him for life.
The Xhosa smear the lucky man with mud after the ritual is complete to insure that he will turn the color of manhood.
Although these rituals have been performed hundreds of times, there are sometimes complications.
Here are pictures of some of them.
We're more of a fan of temporary tattoos.
They can express your tribal affiliation and personality without all the trauma.