Allahabad Nosepins

The present city of Prayagraj was founded in 1583 by the Mughal emperor Akbar, who named it Allahabad (Ilāhābād, “City of God”). It became a provincial capital during the Mughal Empire, and from 1599 to 1604 it was the headquarters of the rebellious prince Salim (later the emperor Jahangir). Outside the Prayagraj fort is the tomb built for Jahangir’s rebellious son, Khusru. Nose pins were brought to India in the 16th century by the Moghul emperors.

Allahabad Nosepins History

The Moghul Emperors most likely spread piercing the nostril from the Middle East deeper into Asia in the 16th century as well. Ever since piercing the nostrils has become popular with Indian girls and women. In some instances, the ring in the nostril is linked, by a chain, to a jewel in the ear or jewels in the hair. It is also said that women in India pierce the acupuncture point on the nostril to induce submissiveness. In Northern India, the outside of the left and in Southern India the outside of the right nostril is the preferred position of the piercing as this is supposed to make childbirth easier. This is because Ayurvedic medicine associates this location with the female reproductive organs (Nose Piercing). Sometimes the women of India today pierce both nostrils (DeMello, 2007). Though the left side is most likely to be seen. Having the nostril pierced is also said to make the pain associated with moon time (menstruation) easier to cope with. It is also associated with beauty and social standing. Piercing the nostril honors Parvati, the Hindu Mother Goddess and the embodiment of the total energy in the universe.

Nostril piercing is still followed today by the nomadic Berber and Beja tribes of Africa and also by the Bedouin in the Middle East. The size of the ring is indicative of the wealth and stature of the family. The husband gives the ring to his wife at the time of marriage; this is her security if divorce follows. It is said that the nostril piercing “made a come back” in the ’90s though I believe it never fell out of the goth/punk subculture. Nostril piercing became more mainstream due to celebrities having the piercing. Janet Jackson and Dennis Rodman popularized the nostril piercing which made more people in the US fond of the piercing. Music videos in the ’80s and ’90s were very popular and with celebrities having the piercing it exploded into our mainstream culture.

Allahabad Nosepins in modern days

Today nostril piercings are worn by all genders, all sexes and are not largely defined by the class. Nostril piercing is popular in the U.S., UK, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, and Europe with piercings being performed on either the left or right nostril (Nose Piercing). Next to the earlobe piercing, it is the most popular form of piercing today (DeMello, 2007). Nostril piercings are often seen on both sides of the nose and sometimes more than one piercing per nostril.
Large nostril piercings have been picked up by the body modification subculture as well. The nostril piercing, by today’s standards, is very much a classic.