Monday, 31 August 2009

Armenian phallic cult

There were times. Some say these were “golden ages” ;)

"[...] The Armenian gousan as the mimes of Greece not only had repertory of farces but also the butaphoric phallus, a common attribute of all mimes. The phallus was an indispensable part of the costume of the gousan, a traditional adjunct of the clothing of mimes. This symbol was deeply rooted in the local phallic cults and its presence as such in Armenia is underscored by many recent findings, such as stone representations of the phallus excavated at the monastery Sourp Minas in the village of Noratous, on the southern shore of Lake Sevan, the portza-kar in Zangezour, bronze statuettes found also in Zangezour, among the ruins of the citadel near the village Ardzevank, on the southern shore of Lake Sevan near Nor-Bayazet, among the ruins of a citadel in the village of Sarekamish in the province of Kars, and in the region of Lake Van. Some of the figurines represent dancers who, although clothed have their phallus bare, which is typical of the stage costume of the mimes. Vestiges of the symbolic use of the phallus in the scenic arts also appears in Armenian miniatures of the medieval period. In one such painting, A.D. 1401, found on the margin of a Bible, an actor in his role to the accompaniment of an orchestra, is represented in the same way. An interesting parallel is the naked figure of St. John on the walls of the cathedral of Akhthamar, built A.D. 915-921; and of Adam in a Bible, in Echmiadzin, illustrated by Markar and Markos. All these sensory representations were possible because it was customary for the gousan to appear in that fashion. [...]"

**Many thanks to George for the links.


Richard said...

Thought you might be interested by this blog by a gay Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia and this post in particular:

artmika said...

Thanks. I know John, and follow his blog. In fact, few times did quote him or of him, the latest - here.

artmika said...

Yerevan Diaries (+ more): cult of the erect penis