Feb 11, 2017

The Phallic Art of sub-Saharan Africa

If you're interested in African or African-American men, you should take a look at the traditional art of sub-Saharan Africa.  There are hundreds of cultural groups with a variety of artistic styles, but they have one thing in common:

An appreciation of the penis.

The male bodies are usually stylized, with little of the anatomical precision of European nudes, but the penis is always big, blatant, the focal point of the piece.

The Fon, the traditional leader of the grasslands of Cameroun, is apparently chosen based on his monumental phallus.

The Magbetu people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are known for their elongated heads, traditional cannibalism, and elongated penises.

A terracotta figure, with an unusual penis -- gigantic, but not aroused -- from the Nok culture that flourished in Nigeria between 1500 BC and 500 AD.

More after the break.

This is a bateba, an "ordinary figure," not a king or god, from the Lobi of Burkina Faso in central Africa.  Regular sized, a nice change of pace from all of the super-gigantic ones.

In Ouidah, Benin, the sacred capital of the Vodon religion (known in North America as voodoo), there are statues of many gods in a sacred forest.  This one is aroused, and horned.

Penises appear in art forms besides statues.  This is a charm or fetish", to be worn around your neck, from the Luba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Chisaluke is a ceremonial mask, representing an ancestor, worn by the Chokwe of Angola.  In this case, it comes with a codpiece.

The best collections of African art are at the British Museum, National Museum of African Art (Washington DC), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the British Museum, and the Musee du Quai Branley (Paris)

Men even transformed their bodies into living canvasses, using paint, clay, or scarification to highlight their best features.

I can't show real nude men here, so those pictures are on Tales of West Hollywood.

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