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Fakir Musafar

Updated on June 13, 2014

Father of the Modern Primitive Movement

Fakir Musafar has practiced myriad forms of body modification and has championed these practices as an essential part of spiritituality for many decades.

He started in secret as a teen, imitating rituals he saw in National Geographic magazines and guided by his own intuitions and visions. Now in his early 80s, he's still teaching body piercing and branding at his own accredited California school, and leading workshops that allow participants to explore ecstatic shamanism.

Encounters with Fakir

This collection of links are all interviews with Fakir. For personal anecdotes or experiential stories, these are your best resources unless you can spend time with Fakir himself.



This book is a beautiful collection of Fakir's photography which spans nearly his entire life. Starting with self-images he took as a teenager of his own "body play" experiments, the imagery then spans across all genders and orientations engaged in a wide arragy of body art practices and rituals.


My Own Encounters With Fakir

I met Fakir in San Francisco in the early 1990s. I got a lot of my body piercings at his school's open piercing sessions. They had big weekends of piercing clinics where his students got hands-on experience, and I used to round up friends and we'd make appointments and all go together.

I also ran into him regularly at street fairs and other public events that celebrated a wide variety of subcultures. It seemed like Fakir could enjoy anything where people were just being themselves and for sure, he has an interesting outfit for any and all occasions.

One of the most intense experiences of my life was facilitated by him, and it was the execution of the complex branding on my left thigh. This three petroglyph body art piece was burned into my leg using both struck brands and cautery techniques in December of 2001.

Some years later, after having moved to the Pacific Northwest, I flew back to the Bay Area one April to take part in a special ritual hosted by Fakir and his partner Cleo Dubois. This was a hook pull, a large body piercing ritual facilitated for about two dozen people with another half dozen assistants.

Fakir Info and Links

Here are a group of sites which offer info that comes from about as directly from Fakir as you can get, either sites that are his own, or with which he's affiliated, or more historical in nature.

Re/Search #12: Modern Primitives
Re/Search #12: Modern Primitives

This book contains an in-depth interview with Fakir, about his life and his experiences. There are tons of pictures as well. This book was what sparked body art moving into the mainstream of American culture.


I interacted with Fakir on and off over many years of living in the Bay Area. I've had body art done by him and participated in a hook pull ritual that was hosted by he and his partner Cleo DuBois. What have your experiences with Fakir been like?

What do you think of Fakir?

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      9 years ago

      My partner grew up in San Francisco and he attributed his piercing and BDSM interest to Fakir as well. I never new who Fakir was until my partner educated me and helped me explore that side of myself. But this is quite an in depth article...I forwarded this on to my partner...thanks!

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      10 years ago

      I was lucky enough to talk to him in San Francisco, at the Folsom St. Fair. I was and still am in awe of his abiltities (for lack of a better word). But, I think meeting him was the inspiration for my body peircing fetish. I guess you might say that I idolize Fakir.


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