November 4, 2010

Shamans Cure Impotency and More!

A Solution for Whatever Ails You!
The shaman area of the Belen market is fascinating. For a city that is bursting at the seams with children, and where many families are struggling to get by, it is ironic how its denizens appear obsessed with fertility.

Everywhere there were tributes to male anatomy, including one candle that was a giant phallus with crouching male and female figures worshiping on either side - a decent summation of what appeared to be a devotional attitude towards all things macho. 

There were potions and unguents and spices and oils devoted to curing any physical ailment (back pain, cancer, heart problems) to addressing more prosaic problems: attracting a mate, procuring money, and, of course, ensuring that one's equipment (ahem) is always in the locked and upright position. 

Coming Tomorrow:
This area of the market also had some more breathtakingly horrible wares for sale, including monkey skulls, sloth heads, necklaces made of python vertebrae, and, truly disturbing, dried and stretched leopard skins.   ADVANCE WARNING:  Some pictures may be disturbing.

Written by Linda Schwefel
Photo by Barbara Bennett

Related Blog:  Aromas of the Belen market

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