The protective phallus

The phallus is found as an object of worship in cultures all over the world. It is regarded as a fertility symbol, but mainly has a protective function. It repels the evil forces and thereby brings prosperity (fertility) to the clan. The phallus is depicted in many colours, but a strikingly common one is red-on-black, also the colour combination for the king concept. The king is the one who offers protection to the subjects, by writing laws and punishments.

Torch, sceptre and phallus.

The phallus bears a striking resemblance to the king’s sceptre and to the torch. Two symbols that are also classified under the red-on-black colour code. The red aspect is the circle shape or the flame, which represents power. The black is the thunder, represented by a stick or stem. An idol with a phallus then represents a chieftain, who protects the tribesmen against destructive and demonic forces.

Some examples of a phallus in red-on-black.

Thailand, Krabi, la Phra nang Cave
Legba statue, sacred forest, Ouidah, Benin
Figural Carved Tribal Fertility Slit Drum Phallus Bhuta Bali.
Protéger la maison du mauvais oeil Au Bhoutan.

I. Michiels, red.