Bhutanese People Use Penis Portraits Ward Off Evil Spirits
Far away in the ancient Asian Kingdom of Bhutan, large, hairy caricatures of erect male members are gracing street corners, sprucing up alleyways and ejaculating good fortune unto all those who behold and bear witness.
No, this isn't Banksy working on a new avant-garde graffiti project overseas; it's a virile tradition that's been throbbing on for over 500 years -- and it serves to ward off evil spirits.
Land-locked under the shadows of the towering Himalayan mountains, men and women alike all place honor in the tale of one special provocateur of penis promotion, Lama Drukpa Kinley (1455-1529AD).
Nationally adopted as a Bhutanese saint and master of Tantric Buddhism, he is also renowned throughout the country as the "Divine Madman." No doubt he received such a name during the time he was copulating with thousands of Buddhist women, drinking the bottom off of Tibetan beer barrels and subsequently telling us all to consider the same.
Throughout his time, realization-seeking virgins continuously pilgrimage to his skinny crotch for spiritual enlightenment and good fortune... This was his irreverent way of calling out hypocrisy, greed and selfishness that he believed was prevalent within the mores of spiritual teaching at the time.
Don't walk in here and expect to get anything that tastes good...
While I may be missing out on personally achieving Nirvana, it would certainly appear that the knobs of hard wood and plaster-cast dongs that currently decorate Bhutan are doing their odd-job for the local populace.
Bhutanese people keep up these happy phallus paintings so that they may serve the community as an ever present reminder of ourselves as beings and the reality of sexuality. The penis here is used as a symbol for virility, fertility and good luck; while for others it is simply a friendly, esoteric symbol used to ward off evil.
Tired of hanging horseshoes above a doorway for good luck? Try this Freudian-conversational starter!
The evil spirits apparently can't stand the sight of the dick (the embodiment of what it can mean) and the Bhutanese inherited this wisdom from the late lively Lama Kinley by choosing to mark their homes and businesses with some wild lookin' weiners.
These artistic undertakings are part of an eccentric, ancient tradition which probably can't be culled as quickly as the modern age would have it be. Tourists shouldn't get creeped out, but rather attempt to understand the teachings of a proto-Gene Simmons/Buddhist/social-progressive that's inspired generations of Himal-Asians.
Ain't that swell?
Modern Schlong Art From Hamburg, Germany.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.