Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hey! Look at this cool thing - fig sign hand sculpture

Fair warning- lots of changes are going on to the interior of my residence. The floors are being ripped up and the kitchen is being remodeled, and this weekend- 30 years of boxes were gone through in the garage.  So, what does this mean for my blog? Well, I pretty much am holed up in my bedroom to avoid the dust and madness [Tangent: Also, our contractor totally walked in on me in the bathroom yesterday while I was sitting on the toilet, so things may be slightly awkward. Trying to keep our interactions to a minimum. ] and sorting through some of the junk/treasures found in the garage. This means a lot of show and tell blogs that I like to call, "Hey! Look at this cool thing!" [Tangent: A featurette!]

My grammy retired early and spent her golden years traversing the world and hoarding kooky ethnic collectibles from her travels. This means when I was wee, every year for christmas I would get a giant elephant Pendant from ZImbabwe or a creepy ass folk doll  or child sized lederhosen. [Tangent: In retrospect, these were the coolest grammy presents ever...but then I was wee, her eccentricities were a bit lost on me and I was thinking "great I wanted a Barbie Corvette and instead I got a Rhino carved out of ebony!"] She passed away when I was 16, and since then we have had boxes of her stuff from storage in our garage.

When going through them, and sorting what we would keep....display or send to goodwill- we found perplexing things like this:


My family and Jamie and I all took turn theorizing what it might be all about. It loooked a bit like a rough hewn wooden fist playing "I got your nose." Because Catfish taught me the art of reverse google image searching, I gave that a shot...but apparently this statue looks like tight shots of weiners and vaginas and people going at it in a variety of positions. WOAH!?! Google- I am simply trying to research an antique- stop being a perv!

Because search engines were giving me nothing but pornography, I posted the pic on facebook and then continued bouncing ideas around my den. [Tangent: Meanwhile, Jamie is using it as a unicorn horn or stuffing it up his sleeve like a deformed baby hand and creepily stroking my cheek with it. I am dating a mature adult.] Suddenly my mom had an epiphany that it could be sign language, so I quickly went through my ASL alphabet and realized that is the sign language sign for "T" which was the first initial of Grammy's married name. [Tangent: That's a hand-me-down from middle school, when every girl (and maybe some boys) in my grade learned the sign language alphabet so you could communicate across the classroom with your friends during class. If memory serves, it was VERY inefficient, and therfore isn't my primary line of long distance communication today.]

I truly felt like a Hardy Boy...and that I had solved some hohum mystery that was rocking my world, until yesterday some new information enterred the facebook thread that had simmered into a mix of hand puns and black panther jokes [Tangent: I love my friends.] My friend Chad  dropped some knowledge about this statue. He informed me that he had inherited a similar one from his grandfather...and that it might be something called the fig sign. 


So what's the fig sign mean? Take it away Wikipedia...
 The dulya (Belarusian: дуля; Czech: fík; Hungarian: fityisz, füge; Lithuanian: špyga; Macedonian: шипка; Montenegrin - šipak; Polish: figa; Croatian: figa, figu; Russian: кукиш, шиш, дуля, фига, фиг; Slovak: figa; Slovene: fig; Serbian: шипак; Turkish: Nah; Ukrainian: дуля; Yiddish: פייג), or the fig sign, is a mildly obscene gesture used in Turkish and Slavic culture and some other cultures that uses two fingers and a thumb, but not equal to the finger in Anglo-American culture.

The finger position is an approximate representation of glans penis, which is reflected in the name (in Russian "шиш", literaly "pine cone", is a metonym for penis or tip of the penis). This gesture is most commonly used to refuse giving of aid or to disagree with the target of gesture. Usually it is connected with requests for a financial loan or assistance with performing physical work.


So what does the statue mean? Well, I am sticking with my first inclination that it was some kind of representation of my Grammy's last initial, but I kinda love the idea of this very prissy retiree mixing an ode to a "glans penis" into her decor. [Tangent: OH GOD! I just realized how my search terms are gonna run off the rails after this post. Oh well.] Now back to avoiding eye contact with the contractors.

8 comments:

  1. Ha! I love this post! Well, except for that part where your contractor walked in on you in the bathroom. OHMYGOD. MORTIFIED FOR YOU. I love that in the end, it sort of kind of came back to a possible penis connection. I was trying to look up something recently by pasting a photo into Google image (like you said...all "Catfish" like) and whatever it was happened to be kind of flesh colored. Yes, porn. Scads and scads of porn.

    p.s. You have got a lot going on in your house. Cowabunga baby.

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    1. yeah...i blame the phallic nature of the hand and all the nude brown tones. I would say 97% of my results were penis driven

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  2. hahahahaha i'm going to go with the second meaning. and i hope granny knew it! i wish i had been there to look through those boxes! i can only imagine the insanity!

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    1. SO MANY ETHNIC DOLLS! I will take some pictures and send to you. I will bring you the couple goodies that I set aside for you this evening.

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  3. Ah, I am glad that I don't have the only family member with a penchant for traveling and giving inappropriate gifts to small children from said travels. When my son was three, my dad gave him a zebra rug. From a zebra he shot himself. While he was on safari in Africa. TO A THREE YEAR OLD. You can't really decorate a three-year-old's room with a zebra hide. It's just weird.

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    1. That's amazing. I am sure you son will appreciate that one day...if he doesn't already. Today my knick knack shelves are overrun with handcarved safari animals and weird icons from Vatican city. For reals, he will love it one day.

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  4. OMG... I was just looking for the same thing because I have a corkscrew with the thumb in hand on it. Was going to sell on EBAY . I think posting it as a penis thing would sell better. Fig THIS ! lol

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  5. I'm still mystified by it!

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