Ref. Number: 1041

Country: Thailand

Period: 20th Century

Material: Wood

Dimension: 11x3.5cm

Wooden amulet with tiger

Palad Khik in wood

The Thai name for a penis amulet is palad khik.  These charms are worn by men on a waist-string under the clothes, in the hope that they will attract and absorb any magical injury directed toward the generative organs. It is not uncommon for a man to wear several palad khiks at one time, one to increase gambling luck, for instance, another to attract women, and a third for invulnerability from bullets and knives. Women in Thailand do not generally wear palad khiks.

It is possible to find much larger palad khiks, too big to be worn, in shops where they are believed to attract customers and bring the premises more business. These larger palad khiks are often anointed with gold leaf.

The palad khik amulet is said to have originated in the Shiva linga of India and to have been imported to Thailand by Cambodian monks in the 8th century AD. Early styles of palad khik bear inscribed invocations, entreaties, and praises to Shiva; later ones combine these with interlineated invocations and praises to Buddha.

Palad Khik in wood

Palad khik amulets are carved from wood, bone, or horn and are made by monks who specialize in their sculpture, and the efficacy of a given amulet is dependent on the charisma and reputation of its creator. The lettering of the inscriptions is a matter of serious ritual and can take several days to complete. They may carry additional symbolism embodied in an animal holding the penis.

This amulet features a tiger stretched out along a penis that has Thai inscriptions along one side.

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