Kotekas: Penis Sheaths Worn by the Tribes of New Guinea
There are a number of names for phallocrypts or sheaths – Koteka, Nambas, penis gourd and Horim, plus others that are purely used intra tribe. They are a traditional clothing with many purposes, used by tribesmen to cover the genitals either for protection when out hunting and in the bush, or simply to cover themselves, as many tribes have taboos on children seeing the penis – or single women for that matter.
Different tribes use different shapes and sizes; in fact there are two tribes on Malakula known as Big Nambas and Smol Nambas. Some sociologists and anthropologists had thought the size had to do with status but this theory has been proven wrong. Instead the different sizes of phallocrypt men within the tribe might wear has more to do with function. A shorter one is used when working while more elaborate versions are donned for festivals. As you can see from the picture above and below, they are tied on with a loop of string to the scrotum, and then a string is added to the top or the body of the koteka and tied around the waist or chest of the wearer, keeping it in the direction he wants it to point.