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Africa USAmerica Latin America Taboo Travel

Big Dick Energy: Kurupi, Tokoloshe, Kokopelli

Kurupi. Tokoloshe. Kokopelli. I’ve already told you what these have in common, but come along with me on the journey that made me realize it…

Kurupi in Paraguay

I’m in Asuncion and my host explains to me that the Kurupi Yerba Maté we are drinking is named so because of a Guaraní legend. She says the owner of the brand thinks he is a hot shot, and so named it after Kurupi.

It is hot. It’s over 100F. We are sweating buckets, and I don’t have to ask why it is that Paraguayans drink their tereré cold whereas Argentinians and Uruguayans drink their maté hot. Cold drinks are a necessity here. 

I like it cold. It is less potent, which means more water passes through one’s systems while drinking it, which is essential for this climate. 

This climate made even hotter by the clear-cutting of trees to make way for cornfields. I see them, on the way to Iguazu. Hours and hours of corn planted in red dirt. Brand new crops carved into a brand new world. The environment reeling to accommodate the sudden shift. 

It’s hot. Impossibly hot. It shouldn’t be this hot.

The word tereré is onomatopoetic Guaraní for the sound made by the straw sucking at drops at the bottom of the receptacle when there is almost none left. Paraguayans carry around giant, cold thermoses of the stuff.

Even though there are no stereoisomers of caffeine, mateine (terereine?) feels different to me. I spend my time in these parts clear as a bell. Doesn’t quite have that jumpy feel of tea or coffee. More steady, higher in vibration/frequency. 

Though I don’t have to ask why tereré is so popular in this heat, I do have to ask why the maker of this brand of yerba named himself after Kurupi. 

So, who is Kurupi? He’s one of the seven monster children of the original couple, Tau and Kerana – the Adam and Eve of Guaraní creation. The other monster children are pretty ghastly too, one of them haunts graveyards and can pull you down into them.

Kurupi, though, is short and ugly, and has a very long penis that he wraps around his waist. He can get a woman pregnant from down the block. 

So, yeah, it’s short and ugly with big dick energy, that’s why the brand is named after Kurupi. Tee hee.

I love that Kurupi exists. He is the excuse for pregnancy from single women. The scapegoat for adultery from women that don’t sleep with their partners anymore. It was not told to me, but I imagine also he has been used as the excuse for pregnancy from rape

I love that he is ugly. This is not a creature with which the women want to sleep. Their chastity and selectiveness has not been tarnished. No, no, it was Kurupi’s looooooooong penis winding its way through doors, windows, and other holes. They didn’t even see him. He wasn’t even in the room.

Tokoloshe in South Africa

I ask when in South Africa if there are any local legends and learn about Tokoloshe stories. I’m told that people of Zulu and Xhosa origin raise their beds up to keep from being dragged down into the underworld by the Tokoloshe demon.

I ask more about it, and then am astonished when they tell me that the Tokoloshe has a giant penis, and is often blamed for pregnancies, the breakup of relationships, etc. It has a power where it can extend its penis underground at great distances, and then it comes up out of holes, doors, windows into a house.

The Tokoloshe too can impregnate women from down the block. 

The specifics are slightly different, and that’s what makes these stories so beautiful. They reflect some constants of human nature, but through the lens of their specific culture. One example of this is that if a woman loses interest in a man, it’s often said that the Tokoloshe must have raped her, and that’s why. Never heard Kurupi cited in this specific way.

Also, the Tokoloshe doesn’t wrap its penis around its waist like Kurupi. Instead it slings it over its shoulder.

There is a word – Mtshotshaphansi – which means, roughly “going under” – which is what the Tokoloshe do to rape women. There are many news stories on Google about this, it’s not a fading legend like Kurupi. The Tokoloshe is very much alive and well in South Africa.

Most of the reports say that the women wake up wet, that it’s disgusting but it feels very good, and that afterwards it stings, because the Tokoloshe penis is so big. The accounts are usually common in description. The Tokoloshe sometimes also performs oral sex.

It’s believed the Tokoloshe in South Africa is controlled by witch doctors, who have been hired to exact revenge on people. 

The Xulu and Xhosa attitudes towards belief in South Africa are so powerful and so prevalent that I wonder if they can’t believe anything into being. I can’t possibly doubt the existence of the Tokoloshe.

Except when I remember that South Africa has the highest rate of child and disabled rape in the world because of the belief that raping a virgin will cure AIDS. South Africa also has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world. Perhaps that, too, is the work of belief. Or maybe it is the work of  the Tokoloshe demon.

The Afrikaaners and British don’t believe in the Tokoloshe, nor do the indigenous, the Khoisan… until something happens to them. There have been cases that changed their beliefs. There are definitely stories about Tokoloshe raping white women, used against the black communities, and Xulu and Xhosa people falsely accused of sorcery involving the Tokoloshe.

These racial lenses make intuitive sense to me, because South Africa is so different, and yet has so much in common with the United States

Speaking of the United States – there is a third big dick to discuss…

What is the Kokopelli?

It depends on who you ask, the Kokopelli meaning, the Kokopelli legend. There’s associations with fertility, but since Kokopelli has been commercialized and attributed to multiple Native American tribes, and because of the extent of USAmerican indigenous erasure – Kokopelli is portrayed very differently across cultures.

Kokopelli has also succumbed to USAmerican puritanism. He’s been stripped of his dick in almost all the modern portrayals, but if you go back to the carvings into rock: there it is.

What does the Kokopelli mean? Kokopelli trickster. Kokopelli fertility. And Kokopelli is a water spirit. By the way, the Tokoloshe is also a water spirit. Guess water spirits make women wet.

But in the Ho-Chunk community specifically – Kokopelli has a detachable penis that he leaves in the river, and this penis can impregnate young women.

So, too, Kokopelli trickster can impregnate women from down the bend.

This I find out not by visiting any of my country’s native tribes, though I have visited the Hopi, when I was a child, and played with Hopi children my age – but perhaps too young to be talking about Kokopelli. Instead they showed me dinosaur footprints.

I know about Kokopelli, well, because I’m USAmerican. And because after learning about Kurupi and Tokoloshe, I knew there must be more big dick energy somewhere.

Speaking of more – got any more? Any creatures from your culture with looooooong, prehensile, or detachable penises that can do their work far away from the short, ugly creature who wields them? Mind you, no satyrs or Pan or Priapus – they don’t quite fit the bill. I know I couldn’t convince anyone that I was attacked by Pan or a satyr vs. the other way around… Not every legendary creature with a legendary penis works to scapegoat pregnancy or cheating. If you have one, please do let me know in the comments!


The photo is one I took in Asuncion of the mural titled “Latin American History” by the Ecuadorian artist Apitatan


Stories of places with indigenous populations:

Ruta Del Mezcal

Puente Alto

Route 36

Times I did NOT get raped:


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