Yeay Mao Shrines

The road to Sihanoukville cuts through a mountain pass at about the half – way point, just after where the air conditioned buses break their journey. At the point where it rises, called Pich Nil, a row of colorful shrines and spirit houses appear. There are dedicated to the powerful Neakta, or deity, Yeay Mao. It is believed, however, that she was a Brahman, the largely Buddhist population of modern – day Cambodia still offer her bananas – a phallic symbol consistent with the belief in Yonis and Lingas which are a vital element of the Brahmanist faith. Travelers on this road often places a bunch of bananas on the dashboard. Yeay Mao is the Protectress of the southern coast road and is also a patron spirit of travelers and fisherman.

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