Ear Piercing and Other Body Modifications

In Advanced Search, the Add Subjects function can be used to select “body modification” as an OCM Subject. This and other Subjects can be used to search across all cultures, or to search within a specific culture (e.g. the Maasai). You may wish to focus on body alterations such as scarification and tattooing; cranial deformations; tooth filing and removal; piercing of ears, nose, and lips, etc. Adding a Keyword (e.g. ear or ears) will further narrow your search.

eHRAF Advanced Search for the OCM subject "body alteration" (OCM 304), the "Maasai" as culture name, and keywords.

eHRAF Advanced Search for the OCM subject “body alteration” (OCM 304), the “Maasai” as culture name, and two keywords.

Steps for using Advanced Search in eHRAF World Cultures

Step 1. Select a culture.

Click Add Cultures > A-Z Index. Type in Maasai (a culture in Eastern Africa), then select the culture by checking the box to the left. Click the Add Cultures button to return to the search form.

Step 2. Find subject(s) for body alteration or body modification.

Click Add Subjects, then choose one of the following tabs to find “matching” subjects for your topic:

  • A-Z Index – (type the term “body alteration” into the index box)
  • Major Subjects – Arts > Adornment  > OCM 304 Body Alteration
  • OCM Code – 300-399 > Adornment > OCM 304 Body Alteration (this is the quickest way to see the OCM thesaurus in its entirety)

Once your subject is found, click the box to the left of the subject name to select it, then click Add Subjects to return to the search form.

Step 3. Add the words “ear” and “ears” in Keyword box (see image above).

? Do not use a truncated word followed by an asterisk (ear*) in this case, because you would also be including words like early, earth, earn, etc.

Step 4. Be mindful of your Boolean operators. These are the AND and OR buttons. It is very important to set them correctly!

  • Use AND to narrow search (see green circle in image above)
  • Use OR to expand search (see red circle in image above)

Step 5. Click “Search” to perform your search. Using the example in the screenshot above, this will search the ethnographic texts for all paragraphs describing the Maasai culture which contain information on ear modification.

Step 6. If you follow the search as shown in the screenshot above, here is an example of a relevant paragraph result.

screenshot of ear piercing result





More Search Methods Posts:

Related eHRAF User Guide Links