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Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepaint"?

Iconoclast3

Re: Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepai
April 06, 2007, 12:14:52 PM
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While their may be some validity to the reasons later BM bands claim they wore corpse paint, the original impetus still comes from looking at Slayer and Sarcofago inserts and posters and thinking "man that's fucking cool".  

This is similar to long hair and its connection to metal. Originally it simply stemmed from rock tradition, but later became fused with medieval aesthetics. The same is true for spikes and belts and leather and all the other cool shit associated with metal music.


Here's a good post.

Something from the past --> Alice Cooper & KISS --> King Diamond -->  Sarcafago and others --> Everyone else

I believe the above is correct but I'm not 100% sure if it is accurate.

Iconoclast3

Re: Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepai
April 06, 2007, 12:24:46 PM
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Corpse paint in metal music derives from King Diamond, who got it from Alice Cooper. Slayer, who were very influenced by Mercyful Fate in turn used paint during their Show No Mercy era. Sarcofago then emulates Slayer's image and this in turn inspires Mayhem, which causes all of Norway and all other Black Metal to follow suit. The end.

Of course at various stages bands have always claimed to have this or that as the real inspiration behind the corpse paint they wear, but any reasonable metal follower knows that that is simply an attempt to graft deeper meaning to something that originally just had shock/show value, similar to this....




King Diamond was also influenced by KISS, and I believe his early paint closely resembled KISS's enough that it prompted a lawsuit between one of the members of KISS and King Diamond.

Annihilaytorr

Re: Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepai
April 06, 2007, 02:54:08 PM
Based on the similarities I would buy that Kiss also influenced it, but I know the King has stated Alice was the primary influence on some interview I read once. If someone wanted to dig into this and post some info on what the original bands themselves say on the topic, that could prove useful.

Raise_the_Dead

Re: Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepai
April 06, 2007, 04:13:25 PM
And even earlier...


Re: Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepai
April 06, 2007, 06:04:51 PM
Just as an amusing (read: embarrassing) aside:
http://www.ratemycorpsepaint.com/

Re: Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepai
April 08, 2007, 05:26:56 PM
Painted faces in opera and ballet were common 400 years ago. It looks like warpaint, or the Oskorei. I know for some Wagner they did the black and white facepaint.

And then there was the Misfits...

Re: Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepai
April 30, 2007, 05:27:46 PM
Finally found the info that I was looking for in an old Burzum interview:

http://www.burzum.com/burzum/library/interviews/hella.html

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"The musical connection must be the Rage and the Melancholy. Rage because the Asgardsrei/Oskorei is Wotan's army of  "living dead", or undead. Besides being God of eloquence, magic and wisdom, Wotan is also the God of war and death - the more melancholic aspects of life.
The Asgardsrei/Oskorei is a name for all the warriors who have given their lives to Wotan ritually, but also the spirits of those who died in combat for Wotan over the years (ED: commonly known as Einherjer). The warriors were called undead, because of the initiation ritual where the warrior is hanged in a tree, and then brought back to life. Thus the warrior learns the runes (translated as "secrets") of  "the other side". He is dead, but still alive. Thus the title "undead" or "living dead".
The warriors of Odinn, the Asgardrei/Oskorei, consist of Kings and Earls (Counts), warriors and other noble men, but also of thieves and murderers, criminals and bandits. Odinn is namely the God of all these noblemen and rogues as he knows they're all the same kind of men... Rulers and criminals have much in common... they are all "psychopaths" and thus welcome in Odinn's berserkr army, who wage war for the sake of war.

The warriors of the Oskorei were either berserkr (clad in bear-hides), ulfheidins (clad in wolf-hides) or just dressed in old rags. They painted themselves with war-paint to look even more scary, painted their shields all black or with Totenkopfs (skulls) and they sometimes attacked their enemies during night - storming out of the darkness, looking like corpses, half-dead and half-beast. This is the actual origin of the werewolf myths here in Norway. The Oskorei is also a mystery-cult, with occult rituals under the full-moon. Since also a war-cult, these rituals often ended with a frenzy. This often can, or better could, result in "innocent villagers" being ... affected, and thus create the werewolf myths. As you might know my birthname is Kristian (ironically) and I changed my name (officially) to Varg some five years ago. I did this for obvious reasons, but also because Varg is a Wotanic name. The name Varg means "hanged criminal, killer wolf" and the like. Werewolf in Norwegian is "Varulv" (old "Vargulf") put together by the two words "Varg" and "ulv/ulf"(wolf). Werewolf/Varulv thus translates as "Killer wolf", simply meaning "a wolf that has killed". So they called these warriors Werewolves.

They could of course just call them Werebears, but as one had to kill the animal (while naked) in order to be allowed to wear it's hide it is quite obvious why the warriors clad in wolf-hides were far more numerous than the ones clad in bear hides. Also it is obvious that the warriors clad in bear-hides have a far better reputation (berserkr) than the Werewolves.. Okay, killing a wolf can be tough, but killing a bear, all by yourself isn't exactly ... easy. Especially considering the fact they had to be naked and unaided while doing it.

I guess all this explains the use of war/corpse paint of mine sufficiently."

Annihilaytorr

Re: Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepai
April 30, 2007, 06:19:15 PM
Painted faces appear in many cultures as part of art and religious, war and death rituals. It comes as no surprise to see the practice adopted in metal, a genre obsessed with all of the above.

Re: Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepai
April 30, 2007, 07:42:37 PM
My native people, the Maori would tattoo their faces. This Moko displayed their rank and also gave their faces a non-human look, mostly due to the fact their tattoos were only black. This couples with the Haka which was a dance performed in front of the enemy just before combat was joined terrified the Europeans invaders. During the Haka the Maori would distort their faces and try to appear as demonic (for the lack of a better word) as possible.

I know it isn't painted face by creates the same effect.

Also the Maori had a unique method of tattooing that was extremely painful compared to usual tattooing methods. This was with a hammer and chisel and letting the ink pour into the cuts made by this.

Annihilaytorr

Re: Historical/cultural origins of "corpsepai
April 30, 2007, 09:38:18 PM
LOL you're a Maori?

im 1/4, from my mothers side. But since i live in the south island im not surrounded by Maori culture like the rest of my family (whom live in the north island). In case you cared (which i somehow doubt) the rest of my blood is Celtic.

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im 1/4, from my mothers side. But since i live in the south island im not surrounded by Maori culture like the rest of my family (whom live in the north island). In case you cared (which i somehow doubt) the rest of my blood is Celtic.


I'm sure these questions are probably un-PC to an extreme, but I don't mean them unkindly. Have you thought about reconnecting with the Maori side? How much of a connection do you feel to the Celtic side? Can you spot differences in tendency between Celtic and Maori family members? Do you have any physical attributes of one or the other side (like some part-Indian people here can't drink)? How does this effect your ethnic identity, and personal identity?


Iconoclast

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I'm sure these questions are probably un-PC to an extreme, but I don't mean them unkindly. Have you thought about reconnecting with the Maori side? How much of a connection do you feel to the Celtic side? Can you spot differences in tendency between Celtic and Maori family members? Do you have any physical attributes of one or the other side (like some part-Indian people here can't drink)? How does this effect your ethnic identity, and personal identity?



How tha homies doin?

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I'm sure these questions are probably un-PC to an extreme, but I don't mean them unkindly. Have you thought about reconnecting with the Maori side? How much of a connection do you feel to the Celtic side? Can you spot differences in tendency between Celtic and Maori family members? Do you have any physical attributes of one or the other side (like some part-Indian people here can't drink)? How does this effect your ethnic identity, and personal identity?



Well for a Maori i have light skin and because of my thin European facial features most people cant figure out where im from. But i never whole heartedly accepted either culture, i take my view as a nihilst to point out the features i think are most healthy and praise them because of those qualities. But living in New Zealand i am much closer to my Maori heritage but in the end i prefer the Celts. I just love the European traditions that the Celts shared that the Maori were not a part of.