Totonac Penis Piercing Sculpture

When NelumboSkid was recently in El Tajin, near Papantla Mexico (see also Jenna and Dave’s travelblog), at a Totonac archeological site, they snapped a shot of this bas relief of (presumably) a priest doing a genital play piercing or bloodletting ceremony. So maybe if you’re into CBT you’re a reincarnated Totonac priest.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

20 thoughts on “Totonac Penis Piercing Sculpture

  1. i loved the way you have ‘hidden’ the MOD-BLOG text in this one.

    plus, looks pretty cool, involved in the ritual part of things.

  2. mayans had several rites of this kind. this is,what is called from an arquelogical and anthropological view, an autosacrifice. i’ve also seen on several books, not only this drawing, but also ones where wifes of some priests piecrced their tongues and passed a rope through it, to prise a deity i don’t remember the name. alse there is one i think dedicated to the god Huitzilopochtli that a priest is dripping blood from one of his ears, like this drawing. passing a spear through his lobe, i assume this also meant how some of their piercings where done. every day that passes, i find something more and more interesting of Mayan and Aztecs…how many things would have been different if the spanish conquerors had culturized their own culture with native american traditions…

  3. You know what I really fucking love about this site..

    The fact that you Shannon take such a role in it. Not only by posting 90% of the pictures yourself but by commenting and accually staying involved so much in this site, not just pawning it off to some hired help to call the shots. And again, I think that’s why, even know with thousands of members across the globe, BME still feels like a family to me.


  4. This was on the side of a ball court, this is depicting the aftereffects of the game (which was very ritualistic…) I suppose I should mention that the Totonacs were subjugated by the Aztecs, not the Maya.

  5. I once watched a tv special on Mayans and they had actors reenacting things like sports, and rituals. They talked about genital piercing rituals, and had actors demonstrating. They didn’t show the actual piercing, but they showed the tools and blood and stuff.

  6. I love the face of the figure on the left: “Aw hell yeah, that’s the stuff!” It made me smile for a long time.

  7. For the Maya the instruments used for auto-sacrifice were made out of stingray spines (carved, in the nasty serrated way) and then used to pierce the King’s penis or the Queen’s tongue (diagonally), blood caught on a piece of paper which would be burned. The Visionary Serpent emerged from the smoke and the visions that came from it’s mouth would be recorded and interpreted. This is not a position you wanted to hold, for the auto-sacrifices were expected daily, or so the evidence points, I’d like to see one of these researchers do some hands on proof… frankly seems like a great way of loosing parts.

    For the Aztecs, the Maguay spines (from the tips of the leaves of the plants we get tequila from) were used to pierce the earlobes. They did not burn the blood and seemed to fear the Serpent.

    There are legends that Cacao (the plant we get chocolate from) was the result of an auto-sacrifice by one of the gods (whose name escapes me, IAM me if you really want to know more then you care about on the subject of chocolate or the visionary plants of the Aztecs) where we see the drops of blood falling to earth in the form of cacao pods.

    I’m not going to keep going on this, as I’ve got a 10 page paper on the bloody, sexual, history of chocolate that doesn’t need to be repeated.

    Oh, if you care to pay proper homage to the gods whilst in Mexico, I recommend the ruins at Coba, as with a little bit of searching, you can find some well hidden pyramids away form the tourists that offer spectacular views and privacy, not that I did anything of the sort.


  8. Check that head in the bottom left corner, it’s the head of the Vision Serpent with an ancestor spirit presenting itself though the mouth. The Vision Serpent was a snake that had one head on both ends of it’s body, one head in our world & one in the spirit world, when pleased by sacrifice it would open both mouths so that the priest could see through to the other plane, either that or an ancestor or spirit could be summoned to present itself though the mouth of the serpent, to pass on information/shoot the shit/reveal basketball scores etc etc

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