Fakir Musafar

Last updated
Fakir Musafar
Musafar in 1982
Roland Loomis

(1930-08-10)August 10, 1930
DiedAugust 1, 2018(2018-08-01) (aged 87)
Spouse(s)Cléo Dubois
Website www.Fakir.org

Roland Loomis (August 10, 1930 – August 1, 2018 [1] ), known professionally as Fakir Musafar, was an American performance artist considered to be one of the founders of the modern primitive movement. [2] [3]



Fakir Musafar. Fakir Musafar.JPG
Fakir Musafar.

Born Roland Loomis, at age four he claimed to have experienced dreams of past lives which, along with his anthropological studies, influenced his interests in body modification. [4] [5] He served in the army during the Korean War, [5] and was first married for a short time in the 1960s. [5] In 1966 or 1967 he first performed a flesh hook suspension, inspired by his viewing of anthropological works. [6] In 1977 he gave himself the name Fakir Musafar. [5]

In the 1985 documentary Dances Sacred and Profane he was shown walking while wearing a device that pressed many small skewers into his upper body, and hanging from a tree by hooks in his chest, in his modified versions of other cultures' sacred ceremonies. [5] He was an extra ('Man in hotel room') in Die Jungfrauen Maschine (The Virgin Machine) in 1988, [7] and in 1991 he appeared in My Father Is Coming as Fakir. [8] He was featured in the 1989 book Modern Primitives , [5] which documented, propagated, and became influential in the modern body modification subcultures.

In 1990 he married Cléo Dubois. [5] From 1992 until 1999 he published the magazine Body Play and Modern Primitives Quarterly , [9] [10] which focused on body modification topics such as human branding, suspension, contortionism, binding, [11] and modern piercing culture. [12] He led "Fakir Intensives" training workshops on these topics in San Francisco. [13]

Illness and death

In May 2018, Loomis announced on his website that he was suffering from terminal lung cancer. [14] He died on the morning of 1 August 2018. [15] His death was initially announced in a public Facebook post by his wife Cléo Dubois, and later confirmed by an obituary in Artforum . [1]


The Leather Archives and Museum, founded in 1991, [16] has a Fakir Musafar exhibit as a permanent exhibit. [17] In 1993, he received the Steve Maidhof Award for National or International Work from the National Leather Association International. [18] In 2019, he was inducted into the Leather Hall of Fame, [19] and he is also an inductee of the Society of Janus Hall of Fame. [20] The Berkeley University Bancroft Library and the Association of Professional Piercers also have large archives of his work in photography, published writings, workshops, and BodyPlay magazines. His memorial bench in Byzbee Park in Palo Alto reads "Body is the door to Spirit".


See also


  1. 1 2 "Fakir Musafar (1930–2018)". ArtForum. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  2. Gauntlet – decorating the Modern Primitive Archived 2007-05-20 at Archive.today
  3. Wilson, Stephen (2002). Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology - Stephen Wilson - Google Books. ISBN   9780262731584 . Retrieved 2020-04-24.
  4. Voices from the Edge (1997), David Jay Brown & Rebecca McCLen Novick
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Fakir Musafar: passion for piercing, tattooing and corseting". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  6. Vale, V. and Andrea Juno (1989) Modern Primitives . RE/Search, San Francisco. ISBN   978-0-940642-14-0
  7. "Die Jungfrauen Maschine (1988)". imdb.com. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  8. "My Father Is Coming (1991)". imdb.com/. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  9. "leatherarchives.org". Leather Archive & Museum. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  10. Daniel E. Slotnik. "Fakir Musafar, Whose 'Body Play' Went to Extremes, Dies at 87 - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  11. "Bodyplay.com". Body Play Magazine's Website. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  12. Body Play #4, 1992, "The Unique Piercings of Erik Dakota"
  13. Voices from the Edge (1997), David Jay Brown & Rebecca McCLen Novick
  14. "Farewell from Fakir". www.fakir.org. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  15. Slotnik, D. E., "Fakir Musafar, Whose ‘Body Play’ Went to Extremes, Dies at 87", The New York Times , Aug 13, 2018.
  16. "About the LA&M - Leather Archives & Museum". Leatherarchives.org. Retrieved 2020-04-24.
  17. "Exhibitions - Leather Archives & Museum". Leatherarchives.org. Retrieved 2020-04-24.
  18. "List of winners". NLA International. 2019-03-14. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  19. "> Inductees". Leatherhalloffame.com. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
  20. "Society of Janus". Erobay. 2019-07-20. Retrieved 2020-04-21.

Related Research Articles

Prince Albert (genital piercing) Male genital piercing

The Prince Albert (PA) is one of the most common male genital piercings. The PA is "a ring-style piercing that extends along the underside of the glans from the urethral opening to where the glans meets the shaft of the penis." The related "reverse Prince Albert piercing" enters through the urethra and exits through a hole pierced in the top of the glans.

Body modification Deliberate alteration of the human anatomy with the consent of the altered

Body modification is the deliberate altering of the human anatomy or human physical appearance. It is often done for aesthetics, sexual enhancement, rites of passage, religious beliefs, to display group membership or affiliation, in remembrance of lived experience, traditional symbolism such as axis mundi and mythology, to create body art, for shock value, and as self-expression, among other reasons. In its broadest definition it includes skin tattooing, socially acceptable decoration, and religious rites of passage, as well as the modern primitive movement.

Tongue splitting

Tongue bifurcation, splitting or forking, is a type of body modification in which the tongue is cut centrally from its tip to as far back as the underside base, forking the end.

Play piercing

Play piercing, needle play, or recreational acupuncture is body piercing done for the purpose of enjoying the experience rather than producing a permanent body decoration. Needles, sharpened bones, or other tools used in play piercing are removed from the body when the episode is complete, allowing the wounds to heal. Those who engage in play piercing may do so for self-expression, imitating tribal rituals, spiritual self-discovery, sexual pleasure, or entertainment.

Modern primitive

Modern primitives or urban primitives are people in developed, modern, post-colonial nations who engage in body modification rituals and practices inspired by the ceremonies, rites of passage, or bodily ornamentation in what they consider "primitive cultures". These practices may include body piercing, tattooing, play piercing, flesh hook suspension, corset training, scarification, branding, and cutting. The stated motivation for engaging in these varied practices may be personal growth, personal rites of passage, or spiritual or sexual curiosity. In contrast to their usual purposes in the originating cultures, these practices are purposely taken out of their original "primitive" [sic] cultural contexts specifically to be reinterpreted in a "modern" cultural setting.

Society of Janus

The Society of Janus is the second BDSM organization founded in the United States and is a San Francisco, California based BDSM education and support group. It was founded in August 1974 by Cynthia Slater and Larry Olsen. According to the Leather Hall of Fame biography of Slater, she said of the Society of Janus,

Nipple piercing

A nipple piercing is a type of body piercing, centered usually at the base of the nipple. It can be pierced at any angle but is usually done horizontally or, less often, vertically. It is also possible to place multiple piercings on top of one another.

Jim Ward (body piercer)

James Mark Ward is an American body piercer. In a 2004 documentary, entitled The Social History of Piercing, MTV called him "the granddaddy of the modern body piercing movement."

Suspension (body modification) Body modification

Body suspension means the act of rigging a human body to hang from implements that have been placed through temporary perforations in the skin.

The Gauntlet, also known as Gauntlet Enterprises, was a body piercing business founded by Jim Ward that is considered the first business of its type in the United States and was the beginning of the body piercing industry.

Rook (piercing)

A rook piercing is a perforation of the antihelix of the ear for the purpose of wearing jewelry. It is located just above the tragus on the ridge between the inner and outer conch with the piercing passing from the underside to the top of this ridge, differing from many ear piercings that essentially span between a "front" and "back" surface. Erik Dakota, a well known professional piercer and the individual responsible for originating and popularizing the rook piercing, is said to have named this modification after a shortened version of his first name. The piercing was first named in issue #4 of the magazine Body Play and Modern Primitives Quarterly around 1992 alongside the first printed reference to the industrial piercing, then termed "industrial ear project".

The Leather Archives & Museum, located in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, United States, was founded by Chuck Renslow and Tony DeBlase in 1991, “as a community archives, library, and museum of Leather, kink, fetish, and BDSM history and culture.” Its mission statement reads, “Making leather, kink, BDSM, and fetish accessible through research, preservation, education and community engagement.” It is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Richard Simonton

Richard Simonton (1915–1979), also known under the pseudonym Doug Malloy, was a Hollywood businessman and entrepreneur, known for his involvement in the Hollywood community, his rescue of the steamboat Delta Queen, his work in preserving the work of musicians in the Welte-Mignon piano rolls and for founding the American Theatre Organ Society. Among piercing enthusiasts he is also known as an early pioneer of the contemporary resurgence in body piercing.

Alan Oversby was one of the primary figures in the development of contemporary body piercing in Europe. He was better known by his professional name Mr. Sebastian.

Daith piercing

A Daith piercing is an ear piercing that passes through the ear's innermost cartilage fold, the crus of the helix.

<i>Modern Primitives</i> (book) Book by V. Vale

Modern Primitives, written by V. Vale and Andrea Juno, is a RE/Search publications book about body modification, published in 1989. The book consists of a collection of twenty two interviews and two essays with individuals and key figures involved the field of body modification in the late 1980s. It was one of the first documents to attempt to comprehensively cover the re-emergence and increasing popularity of tattooing, piercing, scarification, corsetry, sideshow, ritual and other practices in contemporary western society.

Body piercing Form of body modification

Body piercing, which is a form of body modification, is the practice of puncturing or cutting a part of the human body, creating an opening in which jewelry may be worn, or where an implant could be inserted. The word piercing can refer to the act or practice of body piercing, or to an opening in the body created by this act or practice. It can also, by metonymy, refer to the resulting decoration, or to the decorative jewelry used. Piercing implants alter body and/or skin profile and appearance. Although the history of body piercing is obscured by popular misinformation and by a lack of scholarly reference, ample evidence exists to document that it has been practiced in various forms by multiple sexes since ancient times throughout the world.

Index of BDSM articles

This is an index of BDSM articles. BDSM is a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, role-playing, restraint, and other interpersonal dynamics. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who do not consider themselves as practicing BDSM, inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture is usually dependent on self-identification and shared experience. Interest in BDSM can range from one-time experimentation to a lifestyle.

Body Play and Modern Primitives Quarterly was a magazine founded in 1992 and published by Fakir Musafar. It contained information, commentary and interviews pertaining to advanced topics in body modification such as human branding, suspension, contortionism and binding. The magazine was not limited to technical information and images but also contained historical information about the development of modern piercing culture, such as the origins of the daith piercing.