A witch's piercing is a name given to a piercing between the toes of people with incomplete simple toe syndactyly. The first documented production of this piercing was by Zak at Tattoos Unlimited in Morehead, KY in 2005 and has been repeated by Mark at Capital Q in Edmonton, Alberta in 2006, Lori St. Leone from Vogue Body Piercing in Darwin, NT, Australia in 2007, Holly at Evan’s Tattoo in Commerce, GA also in 2007 and finally by Gauge at Golden Eagle Tattoo in Santa Barbara in 2008. It is unknown if any of these piercings took.
The name was given to the piercing by a UK based body piercer and performance artist Lara Roberts (nicknamed Ku and founder of Body Poetry) who did an experimental performance project in early 2010 involving her webbed toes for her final year at university, culminating in a public performance where she pierced through her webbed toes and presented them to her audience in famous beauty poses before inserting the final jewellery. The documentation of this performance then became material for a small exhibition at Dartington Hall exploring the permeability, sexuality and liminality of feet through a variety of Lara's micro-performances.
Lara has, so far (one year on), successfully kept the piercing although expects to still be healing for a while yet.
As perhaps the first UK piercer to have performed this piercing, and as part of the final exhibition of her work, Lara opted to give the piercing a nickname in order to make it more accessible to others (and to link with the gender / identity theme being explored in her work). She also believed the word syndactyly was more used to ‘describe a medical condition, not a body part.’
The name 'Witch’s Piercing' comes from the antiquated idea that being born with webbed toes makes that person a witch of some kind. It was reportedly used during the middle ages as a reason to be prosecuted for witchcraft.