A whole slew of websites, including mine, have recently picked up on the “Cambodian scarecrows keep out malicious spirits using ghost bazookas” post from io.9 with the image of a bazooka-wielding scarecrow fending off evil spirit encroachment.
Most of the repeat posters are going with the tee-hee-ain’t-them-silly slant ignoring the source material that io9 cited from Asia Obscura which likewise goes with the “Insanely Creepy Cambodian Scarecrows” title.
However, the story really does go deeper than just a few creepy scarecrows and honestly is an example of a type of warding phenomenon that goes well beyond the borders of Cambodia.
In Cambodia, the Ting Mong, guardian scarecrows, are set up to protect a home from evil spirits. Some have knives, swords, guns, and yes even bazookas but in essence they are a form of representative magick in which the guardian is endowed with the spirit equivalence of the weapons it is given in the effigy form.
It’s a fascinating custom.
You can see more Ting Mong images at http://blog.andybrouwer.co.uk/2010/08/ting-mong.html, http://missioncambodia.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/khmer-scarecrows/, and http://blog.allpointseast.com/2010/10/armed-and-dangerous-cambodian-scarecrows/.
Of course, it is not the physical scarecrow that protects the home, but the idea, the activated belief and that’s not always a silly thing or even a bad idea in and of itself. We certainly put a lot of energy into our fears so why not put some energy into something to help us combat them?
All the best,