Tarring and feathering was a type of punishment which involved the victim being stripped to the waist, hot tar being poured or painted onto the person, and then feathers thrown on their body so that they stuck to the tar. The practice was never an official punishment in the United States, but rather a form of vigilante justice or mob vengeance.
The practice continued into the 20th century, with widespread reports of the punishment being carried out in the U.S. during the years surrounding the First World War. In Europe, there were instances of alleged German collaborators being tarred and feathered following the liberation of France in World War II. Similar tactics were also used by the Provisional Irish Republican Army during the early years of The Troubles. As recently as 2007, loyalist groups in Northern Ireland were linked to the tarring and feathering of an individual accused of drug-dealing.