Fakir Musafar  

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"I finally met Fakir at Annie Sprinkle's New York apartment in 1980. The next year Fakir and I worked together on a feature film by Mark and Dan Jury titled Dances Sacred and Profane, in which Fakir not only explains but demonstrates his philosophy and practices. The climax of the film shows Fakir doing the Native American Sun Dance ritual. He performed a preliminary ritual at Devils Tower in Wyoming--a sensational sacred site. Then Fakir found a remote wooded area, consecrated a cottonwood tree, and suspended himself with flesh-hooks while he left his body and communicated with the Great White Spirit. The footage was awesome, and when the film opened at San Francisco's Roxie Theater in 1985, there were lines around the block. Lots of people were interested in these rituals." - Charles Gatewood

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Roland Loomis (August 10, 1930 – August 1, 2018), known professionally as Fakir Musafar, was an American performance artist and early proponent of the modern primitive movement. He experimented with and taught body modification techniques such as body piercing, tightlacing, scarification, tattooing, and flesh hook suspension. He was involved in the BDSM, kink and fetish communities.

Musafar was featured in Modern Primitives, published by RE/Search, and in Charles Gatewood's full-length documentary Dances Sacred and Profane. He also appears in the movie Modify.



Loomis documented his experiences in writing about and teaching others "body play". In the early 1990s, he appeared in mainstream media shows like NBC's Faith Daniels Show, CBS's People Are Talking, CNN's Earth Matters and Discovery Channel's (Beyond Bizarre). In 1998 He produced documentary segments for London Weekend Television's Southbank Show and Playboy Television's "Sexcetera". In 2000, 2001 and 2003 he appeared in documentaries for The Learning Channel (Human Canvas Part I and Part II), TBS, FX Channel, the Discovery Channel, and the 2001 documentary film "Modern Tribalism". In 2004 he became a spokesperson for the National Geographic Channel's series, Taboo and appeared on the Travel Channel's "Eye of the Beholder" series hosted by Serena Yang.

His writing and photography was published in Theater Journal, Bizarre magazine (fetish and SM exploration), Skin Two and Piercing Fan International Quarterly. He lectured and performed at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts (Rapture Series, 1995); Copenhagen's International Seminar on BODY:Ritual-Manipulation (1995) and Lisbon, Portugal's Festival Atlantico (1997). His photographic art was recently exhibited at the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles.

In 1999 his performance group performed "Metamorphosis" at the Los Angeles Fetish Ball as well as for close friend Annie Sprinkle's Benefit Show at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco after her houseboat and archives were destroyed by fire.

He was the founder and director of the Fakir Intensives - training workshops on body piercing and branding in San Francisco, the first in America.

Musafar was featured in Modern Primitives, published by RE/Search, and in the full-length documentary Dances Sacred and Profane. He also appears in the movie Modify and Charles Gatewood's documentary, Dances Sacred and Profane.

Illness and death

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


  • Fakir Musafar: Spirit + Flesh, Arena Editions, 2004

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fakir Musafar" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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