Jamaica’s Art – More Penis than Man

I saw him for the first time more than two years ago. Sheltered by the tall, strong trees, I thought he was apart of the landscape until I saw the majestic penis that rose before him. There was more penis than man.

During the two weeks I spent there, the back seat of a blue Honda Accord became my sweet spot. From that spot my eyes devoured the Jamaican landscape. I loved the greeness of the trees and the way the sun made everything so much more vivid. I enjoyed it in a peaceful silence until I saw the man with the magnanimous penis.

“A naked man!” I exclaimed and then coughed. A mosquito had or some such critter had flown into my mouth. “Look! A man with a…a…a…”

“Yes, a wooden man with a big hood,” my friend laughed.

“Wooden hood?”

“Woman wa wrong with you?”

“Turn around. I want to see it.”

And so it was that I stood face to face with a naked carving of a Jamaican man. He was not the only one. Many like him stood proudly in a line along the roadway. However, he was the only one taller than I.

“De woman neva see Jamaican wood,” my friend told the artists. The group of men and women laughed and one winked at me.

I blushed as much as my brown skin would let me.

“Stop being wicked…it’s just unusual. We don’t have anything like it in Guyana.” I looked expectantly at the group of Jamaicans. “What does it mean na?”

“Mean? Gyirl, de tourists like dem so we make dem,” one man told me.

I never managed to get another explanation and I haven’t gone to Google for answers.

At the risk of sounding penis bewitched, I will admit that it was the ridiculous proportions of the carving which first captured my attention. I was used to seeing art depict big breasted women as a sign of fertility but I was not used to Jamaican art that portrayed the man as having more penis than humanly possible.

When my friend told me that she was making for Jamaica this month, I insisted that all I wanted was a picture of the carving. I had lost the ones I’d taken. The image she sent me shocked me yet again.

The artists have improved their technique. Now they paint both the man’s heads. I can understand the black but the red I absolutely don’t get.

Thoughts anyone? Additional information? Comment and share.

First time I saw this...well let's just say I nearly choked on a mosquito (Compliments of E. Adams)

First time I saw this…well let’s just say I nearly choked on a mosquito (Compliments of E. Adams)

Sharing a quick moment with you while I’m on the go.

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