The fact that body markings have been forgotten by art historians is not a coincidence.
The motifs engraved on cave walls once placed upon the body becomes a symbol, thus making the artist a shaman, giving his act a metaphysical dimension, surpassing by far the frontiers of art.
These markings of tribal ethnicity, evolving in the same rhythm as man within his group, or having the power to fight illness and evil spirits, have imposed themselves as sacred. The pain associated with the act made the meaning even stronger.
This oversight is not coincidental.
History has always put the body in the sideline, by tying it to the divine. The dogma upon which our education has been built on has transformed it into a sacred temple. All acts mark a transgression which only those who do not believe in anything dare to perform, making de facto these practices socially unacceptable. It is only with the recent deconsecration of the body that artists, now growing more in numbers and with undeniable talent, use the body as a medium and allowing these practices to get the recognition they deserve.