Phallic Shrines in Thailand

One of the charming things about Thailand, and much of Asia for that matter, is that they're much less hung up on depictions of the male member. In fact, some religions even venerate a crude representation of the male phallus. I imagine many of you have worshiped at that altar, haven't you? In Thailand, phallic charms and wood carvings are popular. They serve many purposes, such as 'protecting' a guy's real manhood from attack by evil spirits, or to simply encourage, err, propagation. If you do business with an old fashioned shop that keeps its money in a drawer, you might well see that they use a carved wooden phallus the hold bank notes in place, in the hopes it might help the money to reproduce (if only, right?).

[caption id="attachment_39" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="The phallic shrine in Phra Nang Cave, Rai-Lay"]Phra Nang Cave[/caption]

There are many phallic shrines around Thailand as well. You'll find some in the corner of Buddhist temples, but the really big and significant ones are outside of the religious places. One of these large shrines, and the place it's found, inspired a big part the sequel to Journey to Angkor, which is going to be called Journey to Rai-Lay. The shrine, pictured above, is in Phra Nang Cave on the Rai-Lay peninsula of Southern Thailand.

There's a legend behind this particular shrine: It starts with a princess - don't they all? The young (presumably virgin) princess is shipwrecked somewhere near Rai-Lay and drowns. After that, more sailors started to go missing in the area, and the ghost of the princess got the blame. The shrine was set up and people started leaving the carved wooden phalluses for the princess in the hope she would take them and leave the sailors alone. Can you say, cock crazy psycho bitch?

Posted in Background on Jun 24, 2011

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