Metal and Stone Vestiges
Religion, Magic and Protection in the Art of Ancient Tibet
This unique pre-Buddhist thokcha pictures an ithyphallic anthropomorph in what looks to be a meditative aspect. Hands on thighs, his phallus extends to meet his joined feet. It is most plausible that this limns the likeness of a cult deity and not a person. Bon and Buddhist ascetics are known to have occasionally remained without clothes. This figure however, is not easily comparable with historic period iconography of either the Bon or Buddhist religion. Again, this object relays the themes of fecundity and male potency. We might speculate that someone carried it with these preoccupations in mind.
all text & images © John Vincent Bellezza