Kotekas: Penis Sheaths Worn by the Tribes of New Guinea

NambasPhoto: Charmaine Tham

There are a number of names for phallocrypts or sheaths – Koteka, Nambas, penis gourd and Horim, plus others that are purely used intra tribe. They are a traditional clothing with many purposes, used by tribesmen to cover the genitals either for protection when out hunting and in the bush, or simply to cover themselves, as many tribes have taboos on children seeing the penis – or single women for that matter.

Penis SheathPhoto: Lee

Above you see a phallocrypt made of leaves and vegetation, but very often they are made with gourds, specially grown for the purpose. The grasses seem to be used more in African tribes than in New Guinea where gourds are always the covering. In the top picture you see a group wearing sheaths made out of dried grasses, both boys and men.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT