Monday, April 27, 2015
Can a carved wooden penis protect a boy from evil spirits?
The ancient Thai people believed in ghosts and spirits (and some modern Thais do today). The bad spirits were ready to take away sons before they became men. With little medical knowledge back then, boys and girls often died young due to incurable illnesses. Upon reaching adulthood, they would acquire some immunities to protect them from illnesses.
To fool the spirits, a wood carving in the shape of an adult circumcised penis was tied to the waste of a male child, letting it dangle in front of the boy's uncircumcised penis.
The spirits and ghost would then believe that the boy is actually a man, and not take his life away. Over time, men took to wearing the carvings around their neck as charms, to protect them against the spirits as well as bad luck.