Filipino Barrelman

A barrel man (or barrelman) is a type of souvenir doll or statuette commonly found in the Philippines. The statuette usually consists of a crude male figurine carved out of wood, surrounded by a round wooden barrel.

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After the barrel is slipped off, the male figure inside is revealed, including a prominent phallic protrusion on the lower part of the figurine.

Product Shot 2The souveir is faily common at gift shoppes in the Philippines and is somewhat popular among tourists who may be surprised the first time they encounter the object and lift the object's barrel. The souvenir's origin is relatively unknown, but it has been referred to as Igorot, suggesting that it may represent the "primitive" mountain inhabitants of the country's history.

The barrel man has also been identified as a part of Philippine culture and art, often as the subject of Filipino-related jokes. In 2005, an exhibition called "Beyond the Barrelman" debuted in Chicago. The event showcased moderm Filipino art and implied an evolution of Filipino art from the crude, comical barrel man figurine.

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