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Encyclopedia > Mutilation

Mutilation or maiming is an act or physical injury that degrades the appearance or function of the (human) body, usually causing death.

Two Ugandan women whose lips have been cut off by Lord's Resistance Army rebels socialize
Two Ugandan women whose lips have been cut off by Lord's Resistance Army rebels socialize

The term is usually used to describe the victims of accidents, torture, physical assault, or certain premodern forms of punishment. Acts of mutilation may include amputation, burning, circumcision, flagellation or wheeling. In some cases, the term may apply to treatment of dead bodies, such as soldiers mutilated after they have been killed by an enemy. The traditional Chinese practices of língchí and foot binding are forms of mutilation that have captured the imagination of Westerners, as well as the now tourist centered "long-neck" people, a sub-group of the Karen known as the Padaung where women wear brass rings on their neck.[1] The act of tattooing is also considered a form of self-mutilation according to some cultural traditions, such as within the Muslim religion.[2] [3] Image File history File links Gulu_women_-_cut_lips. ... Combatants Uganda Peoples Defence Force Lords Resistance Army Commanders Yoweri Museveni Joseph Kony The Lords Resistance Army (LRA),[1] formed in 1987, is a rebel guerrilla army operating mainly in northern Uganda and parts of Sudan. ... Look up Punishment in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Partial hand amputation For the song Amputations by Death Cab for Cutie, see You Can Play These Songs with Chords Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma (also referred to as avulsion) or surgery. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Family circumcision set and trunk, ca. ... Whipping on a post Flagellation is the act of whipping (Latin flagellum, whip) the human body. ... The breaking wheel (also known as the Catherine wheel; originally, the whele) was a torturous capital punishment device used in the Middle Ages and early modern times for public execution by cudgeling to death. ... Língchí (pinyin for Chinese 凌遲/凌迟; also ling che) is a form of execution used in China before the modern era and is usually known in English as slicing or death by a thousand cuts. The literal meaning of língchí is humiliating and slow; the method was officially outlawed in... X-ray of bound feet. ... The Karen (Burmese: ; MLCTS: ) called by Burman , also known in Thailand as the Kariang (Thai: ) or Yang. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... For other uses, see Tattoo (disambiguation). ...

Sepik River, PNG. Tribal male initiation through excruciating scarification

Some tribes practice some ritual mutilation, e.g. scarification, as part of a rite of passage (e.g. initiation ritual). ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x1476, 144 KB) Summary Franz Luthi took this photo in Papua New Guinea in 1975 and has given me (John Hill) permission to use it on the Wikipedia free of copyright Licensing Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x1476, 144 KB) Summary Franz Luthi took this photo in Papua New Guinea in 1975 and has given me (John Hill) permission to use it on the Wikipedia free of copyright Licensing Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify... Location of the Sepik River The Sepik River is the longest river in Papua New Guinea (although the Fly River also claims to be the longest). ... Shan boy undergoing Poy Sang Long initiation A rite of passage is a ritual that marks a change in a persons social or sexual status. ...

Maiming, or mutilation which involves the loss of, or incapacity to use, a bodily member, is and has been practised by many races with various ethnical and religious significances, and was a customary form of physical punishment, especially applied on the principle of an eye for an eye. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Corporal punishment. ... “Talion” redirects here. ...

In law maiming is a criminal offence; the old law term for a special case of maiming of persons was mayhem, an Anglo-French variant form of the word. Maiming of animals by others than their owners is a particular form of the offence generally grouped as malicious damage. For the purpose of the law as to this offence animals are divided into cattle, which includes horses, pigs and asses, and other animals which are either subjects of larceny at common law or are usually kept in confinement or for domestic purposes. Mayhem, under the common law of crimes, consisted of the intentional and wanton removal of a body part that would handicap a persons ability to defend himself in combat. ... Look up anglo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Lady Justice or Justitia is a personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system (particularly in Western art). ...

In Britain under the Malicious Damage Act 1861 the punishment for maiming of cattle was three to fourteen years penal servitude; malicious injury to other animals is a misdemeanour punishable on summary conviction. For a second offence the penalty is imprisonment with hard labor for over twelve months. Maiming of animals by their owner falls under the Cruelty to Animals Acts. The Malicious Damage Act of 1861 is a law now mostly concerned with damage to property in the transport sector of society. ...

Docking as human punishment

In times when even judicial physical punishment was still commonly allowed to cause not only intense pain and public humiliation during the administration but also to inflict permanent physical damage, or even deliberately intended to mark the criminal for life by docking or branding, one of the common anatomical target areas not normally under permanent cover of clothing (so particularly merciless in the long term) were the ears. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Corporal punishment. ... Public humiliation was often used by local communities to punish minor and petty criminals before the age of large, modern prisons (imprisonment was long unusual as a punishment, rather a method of coercion). ... Docking is used as a term for the intentional removal of part of an animals tail or ears. ... To Brand a person means to burn a symbol into a living persons skin using a hot or cold iron, with the intention that the resulting scar makes the symbol permanent. ...

In England, for example, various pamphleteers attacking the religious views of the Anglican episcopacy under William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury, had their ears cut off for those writings: in 1630 Dr. Alexander Leighton and in 1637 still other Puritans, John Bastwick, Henry Burton and William Prynne. Archbishop William Laud (October 7, 1573 – January 10, 1645) was Archbishop of Canterbury and a fervent supporter of King Charles I of England, whom he encouraged to believe in divine right. ... The Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader and senior clergyman of the Church of England, recognized by convention as the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. ... The Puritans were members of a group of radical Protestants which developed in England after the Reformation. ... John Bastwick was born in Essex in 1593. ...

In Scotland one of the Covenanters, James Gavin of Douglas, Lanarkshire, had his ears cut off for refusing to renounce his religious faith. The Covenanters, named after the Solemn League and Covenant, were a party that, originating in the Reformation movement, played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England, during the 17th century. ... Douglas is a village in Lanarkshire, Scotland. ...

In various jurisdictions of colonial British North America even relatively minor crimes, such as hog stealing, were punishable by having one's ears nailed to the pillory and slit loose, or even completely cropped; a counterfeiter would be branded on top (for that crime, considered lèse majesté, the older mirror punishment was boiling in oil). A counterfeit is an imitation that is made with the intent to deceptively represent its content or origins. ... Lese majesty, leze majesty, or lèse majesté (from the Latin Laesa maiestatis, injury to the Majesty) is the crime of violating majesty, an offense against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state. ... Punishment is the practice of imposing something unpleasant on a wrongdoer. ...

Independence did not render American justice any less bloody. In Tennessee, an example of harsh 'frontier law' under the 1780 Cumberland Compact took place in 1793 when Judge John McNairy sentenced Nashville's first horse thief, John McKain, Jr., to be fastened to a wooden stock one hour for 39 lashes, and have his ears cut off and cheeks branded with the letter "H" and "T". The Cumberland Compact are articles of agreement created in 1780 by settlers when they arrived on the Cumberland River and settled Fort Nashborough, which would become Nashville, Tennessee. ... Branding persons refers to the use of the same physical techniques as in livestock branding on a consenting or constrained human, a form of body modification (see that article for general considerations) similar to scarification (see that article for technical details). ...

An example from a non-western culture is that of Nebahne Yohannes, an unsuccessful claimant to the Ethiopian imperial throne who had his ears and nose cut off and was then freed. Nebahne Yohannes claimed the title of Ethiopia (1709 - July 1710) during the reign of Emperor Tewoflos. ...

Sources and External links


  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • getchwood Curious punishments- Branding & maiming

  Results from FactBites:
Cattle mutilation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2380 words)
Cattle mutilation is the alleged killing and then subsequent mutilation of cattle, under supposedly unusual or anomalous circumstances.
Ranchers are often said to be reluctant to come forward and report animals mutilated under odd circumstances, due to several factors: the associated ridicule, fear of reprisal, and the financial costs of securing necropsy for dead livestock.
Mutilation is said to include removal of parts of the mouth and hind regions, especially the anus and sexual organs.
Mutilation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (137 words)
Mutilation is an act or injury that degrades the appearance or function of the (human) body, usually without causing death.
Acts of mutilation may include amputation, burning, flagellation, or wheeling.
Some tribes practice ritual mutilation as part of an initiation ritual, such as circumcision.
  More results at FactBites »



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