Hanging with the People Who Ritualistically Suspend Their Bodies from Hooks

VICE Serbia went to Rijeka, Croatia to explore the ancient art of using handmade hooks to pierce the skin as well as the city's tattoo and body modification scenes.

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2015 09 09, 4:00am

A Native American tribe called the Mandan first practiced suspension as a tradition marking the transition from boyhood to manhood. Tribe elders used handmade hooks to pierce the skin, then lifted the boys into the air using ropes. They'd hang like this, often for days. Those who could survive the ritual officially became men.

Today, suspension is a spiritual and subcultural phenomenon practiced all over the world. Galeb Nikačević from VICE Serbia decided to experience the practice firsthand in Rijeka, Croatia.