It was a noticeable portrayal of a penis, enormous and arching upwards.

Value, but was meant as a phallic exhibition, a demonstration of power, a danger signal of the same nature as
the helmets hammered into the shape of lion masks which appeared concurrently. The guy in armour with his

223

A Geometric bronze statue from Olympia. Nick Stournaras and Nick Corbetis, eds.,
Olympia 1971 fig. 3. (Courtesy of Mike Roberts Colour Generation).

cod-piece and the baboon demo his erect penis as an aggressive signal to other baboons to keep off objective at the
same effect” (p. 165). The author also notes that inclinations towards genital action of an aggressive nature are
repressed in our current culture and that today’s men aren’t aware of potentials like those openly
expressed in the Near East and–at least verbally–among the ancient Norsemen. This implies, according to the
author, that reasonable comprehension of the competitive aspects of phallic symbolism is lost too; and this in turn
Signifies that grasp of the signal function of a phallic symbolism in dominance-entry routines has
vanished from the consciousness–however that these patterns still remain unchanged and watchful of action
below the threshold (p. 191).

224

Source of Nudity in Greek Athletics

A Proto-Attic Vase. Cecil Smith, “A Proto-Attic Vase,” JHS 22 (1902) PI.11 a. (Courtesy
surprised to find in the state of Maabar, India that men went to fight naked
with only a spear and a shield. In the Trichinopoly District of Bengal, when in
the rainy season tanks and rivers threaten to blow up their banks, men stand
naked on the embankments; and if an excessive amount of rain falls, naked guys point
firebrands at the heavens, as in the instance of rain-magic. This nudity is presumed to
To a crude
Fighter the phallus was an symbol of power having prophylactic virtue against
the assaults of the enemy. Roman soldiers marching into conflict carried phallic
symbols on their standards. The distinct state of the sexual organ of a fighter
engaged in deadly combat is a matter well recognized in the Polynesian
superstition.24
24. H. Yule, Marco Polo (London, 1929), 2: 274,275,278. I. Wise, Notes on the Races, Castes and Trades
of Eastern Bengal (London, 1883). p. 369; W. Crooke, “Nudity in India in Custom and Ritual,” Journal of the
Royal Anthropological Institute 49 (1919): 248; George Ryley Scott, Phallic Worship (Fresh Delhi, 1975). p, 109,
Gza Rohelm, What is the most courageous thing Ive done bare? Well, thats a long story , Magic and the Divine King (London. 1972). p. 21. Also see W. G. Gudgeon, “Phallic
One of the Kiwi Papuans of
British New Guinea the member of a slain foe is cut off and dried. Before a fight a small bit of it combined with banana
is given to the youthful warriors to make them stronger. [See Gunnar Landman, The Kiwai Papuons of British New
Additionally see Rohelm, Animism.

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Magic and the Divine Kiq. p. 20.

225

The apotropaic use of the phallus is certainly exposed in the Greek herms which
consisted of a square stone column surmounted by a man’s bearded head and
bearing Introduction to Nudism .
market places, at intersection26 and at the frontiers, consistently facing away from
the protected premises. The same sort of sculpture can be found in some present
cultures, for example on Borneo and Nias, Bali and the Nikobar Islands as things of
superstition against the spirits of the Deceased.27
W. Burkert wrote on the meaning of the display of phallus:
I cannot find any real explanation before ethology discovered that there are species
of monkeys, living in groups, of whom the men act as guards:
outposts, facing outside and presenting their erect genital organ. This is an
“animal ritual” in the sense noted above: the fundamental function of sexual activity is

suspended for the sake of communicating; every person approaching from the
outside will notice that this group doesn’t consist of helpless wives and children,
but enjoys the complete protection of maleness.28

Scientists also observed that within a group of squirrel monkeys, one creature
25. The ongoing belief in the apotropaic power of phallus appears to account for its appearance on the
doorways of new buildings in major cities of India. The defender figures frequently protecting either side of the entry
[See Clarence Maloney, The Evil Eye (Fresh York,
1976). pp. 114, 1251. For the exact same function representations of human phalli are arch upon the outdoor timbers of
dwelling places in Central Borneo [See Frederic T. Elworthy, The Evil Eye (London, 1957), p. 1071. Legba or

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