3815 – Small Ithyphallic Figure

Physical description:
Small brass ithyphallic figure, with an integral loop so that it can be worn hanging from a cord. The phallus unscrews. Probably an amulet either for protection or fertility.
Museum classification:
Modern Witchcraft
38 x 7 x 35

This is a companion piece to 3814 (a Ndebele doll). It was given to the donor by a friend's cousin.

In Roman times phallic amulets were thought to ward off the Evil Eye (a carving at Leptis Magna in Libya shows a phallus attacking an eye), so the fact that an amulet is phallic does not necessarily mean it is associated with fertility.

Probably from South America (information provided by Steve Patterson, who pointed out that a similar ceramic object features in an episode of 'Father Ted', as a gift to Father Ted from a South American priest).

Metal (brass)