About Fakir Musafar
Father of the Modern Primitive Movement


FAKIR MUSAFAR is known worldwide for his fifty year's research and personal exploration of primitive body decoration and rituals. Fakir has introduced concepts and practices for the "body-first" approach to explore spirituality in art, body modifications, SM and what he calls "body play". Fakir's practices have been shown and his views expressed in the 1985 film DANCES SACRED & PROFANE, , in the 2013 film BODY OF GOD, and in ReSearch publications 1986 book MODERN PRIMITIVES (a word Fakir coined in 1979 to describe himself and a few kindred spirits).

Fakir's interviews and writings have been included in many anthologies and scholarly works like: BODIES UNDER SIEGE, Self-mutilation and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry (1996 by Armando Favazza, M.D., a psychiatric text published by John Hopkins University Press); Mark Thompson's LEATHERFOLK; Freedom Press' VOICES FROM THE EDGE; Random House's Villard Books edition of DIFFERENT LOVING; Valerie Steele's 1996 Oxford University Press book FETISH. He has been labeled by various media as "Father of the Modern Primitive Movement". For nine years he published his own photo magazine BODY PLAY & MODERN PRIMITIVES for those in our culture "who hear the sound of a different drummer." BODY PLAY ONLINE is currently available on his web site: http://www.bodyplay.com/bodyplay/online/index.htm

  Fakir's Photo, A Perfect Gentleman
Fakir as The Perfect Gentleman, 1959

A Shaman, Artist, Master Piercer and Body Modifier, Fakir has played a significant part in the revival of body piercing, body sculpting, branding and other body-related practices for personal expression, spiritual exploration, rites-of-passage, healing and reclaiming. He is a co-developer of the modern body piercing techniques in general use today. He is also Director of FAKIR BODY PIERCING & BRANDING INTENSIVES, the only courses of instruction of their kind in the world.

Fakir comes out at International Tattoo Convention, 1979

Born in 1930 on what was then an Indian Reservation, Fakir is a depression baby from Aberdeen, South Dakota. He studied electrical engineering and has a B.S.E. degree from Northern State University (South Dakota) plus an M.A. degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. For many years he held executive positions in San Francisco advertising agencies and operated his own ad agency in Silicon Valley. Fakir has had, over the years, a very checkered career path that included such odd occupations as Instructor in Demolitions & Explosives (U.S. Army 1952-54) and teacher of ballroom dancing at Arthur Murray's. All the while, he was privately practicing what his inner spirit revealed to him as a valid but non-sanctioned way (in this culture) to reach spirit through the body. In 1977, he made his first public coming out at the first International Tattoo Convention in Reno Nevada.

Since then he has seen as his "life work" writing, speaking and teaching others what he has experienced and learned doing "body play". In the early 1990's Fakir appeared on many mass media shows like NBC's Faith Daniels Show, CBS's People Are Talking, CNN's Earth Matters and Discovery Channel (Beyond Bizarre). In 1998 Fakir made in-depth documentary segments for London Weekend Television's Southbank Show and Playboy Television's "Sexcetera" (Body Mod Squad). In 1999 he was subject of a documentary film (Fakir Musafar:Profile) made by CANAL + of France for their short film series "La Nuit du Cyclone". In 2000, 2001 and 2003 he has appeared in documentaries for The Learning Channel (Human Canvas Part I and Part II), TBS, FX Channel and Discovery Channel plus a major appearance in the 2001 documentary film "Modern Tribalism".

Fakir is a popular speaker at universities and colleges, new age and other special interest groups. He has contributed original material and photos to contemporary publications like THEATER JOURNAL (performance art), John Willie's BIZARRE magazine (fetish and SM exploration) SKIN TWO and PFIQ (Piercing Fan International Quarterly). He has lectured and performed at international art festivals like ICA in London (Institute of Contemporary Art, Rapture Series, 1995) and the International Seminar on BODY:RITUAL-MANIPULATION in Copenhagen (1995). In 1997 he lectured and performed body rituals at the FESTIVAL ATLANTICO in Lisbon, Portugal. In February 1999 he was invited to address the annual conference of the AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRISTS on body modification and shamanism (My Reality, Your Reality, Reality of Those you Treat). His performance group appeared at the 1999 Los Angeles FETISH BALL in "Metamorphosis"-- and at the Annie Sprinkle Benefit Show at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco.

Fakir, from Dances Sacred and Profane, 1982

Sun Dance & Kavadi Video Clips

To preview Fakirs' Sun Dance and Kavadi DVD, click here. To preview his bodymod photo book, Spirit+Flesh, click here. To order items in these previews plus other books and Fakir's photo prints, visit our Online Store.

Fakir Tour in U.K.
Recently, Fakir toured the U.K. to resounding success. All six sold out and we had visitors and participants from Denmark, Norway, France, Germany, Italy and South Africa. We were delighted by the buzz the Fakir Tour created in Europe. To see a YOU TUBE clip of our U.K. Torture Garden performance, CLICK HERE.

Also of interest, Fakir's audio interview on a recent Boing Boing blog.

Fakir Musafar likes to speak, perform and present shamanic body rituals wherever a receptive audience can be gathered. He is available for bookings to give lectures, performances, shamanic workshops, body piercings and brandings, group body rituals, piercing and branding classes. Fakir is also a photographic fine artist who has recorded his own rituals, adornments, and modifications and those of others for over 50 years. His images are a beautiful and powerful record of contemporary history; they capture the spirit and beauty of the human body in transition. A collection of Fakir's images titled SPIRIT + FLESH have been published by Arena Editions and his photographic art was recently exhibited at the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles. Fakir is pleased to sign his Spirit + Flesh photobook at personal appearances; the book is also available online signed personally by Fakir.


Email: fakir@fakir.org
Web site: http://www.fakir.org
Write: Fakir, P.O. Box 2345, Menlo Park, CA 94026
Phone: 650-206-9277

For Fakir Photo Art: http://www.faheykleingallery.com