Category: Biography

Uncle Tompa

The Legendary Rascal of Tibet

Westerners often think of Tibet only as a place of devout Buddhist practice, where pious peasants spin prayer wheels and hang prayer flags. Tibet has an earthier side as well, in the fictional person of Uncle Tompa. Uncle Tompa is a clever rascal in the Trickster tradition. He delights in humiliating rich men, screwing virgins (including Buddhist nuns) and generally making fools of everyone around him for the sheer fun of it.

Rinjing Dorje, who grew up herding yaks and listening to nomad tales around the campfire, has translated and compiled several Uncle Tompa stories in Tales of Uncle Tompa: The Legendary Rascal of Tibet, with accompanying illustrations by Addison Smith. The book is in print and is available from Dorje’s own web site http://webforce.nwrain.com/rdorje/.

Uncle Tompa tales are ribald and raunchy; Dorje has not diluted or bowlderized his translations. Among Uncle Tompa’s exploits:

  • Tricking a rich man into marrying him by tying a sheeps lung between his legs, simulating a vagina
  • Selling magic penises to nuns
  • Convincing a rich man that his large copper pot had babies
  • Sleeping with his own daughter
  • Selling pumpkins as “horses’ eggs”
  • “Planting” hair on a bald man’s head with an awl
© 2001-2006, originally published May 08, 2001