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the history of the grigri
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j_z_p


Sep 20, 2005, 11:47 AM
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the history of the grigri
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I was wondering if anyone knows who actually invented the grigri or when it happened. I also wanted to know how much of an impact people think the grigri had on climbing as a sport

Thanks a lot


healyje


Sep 20, 2005, 11:52 AM
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When they first came out I had a friend convinced for the longest time that grigri was French for "Poodle". I pretty much only use mine for roped solos, hauling, and frog jugging. Aid climbers use them a lot too, but I personally don't care for them in trad climbing. One part of their history and [literal] impact is that in gyms worldwide more novice belayers have chocked, squeezed, and dropped their climbers over the years than you can possibly imagine. They're good when they're good and very bad when they're bad...


rock_ninja


Sep 20, 2005, 12:38 PM
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While I don't know anything about the actual history of the climbing mechanism, a grisgris (pronounced exactly the same as the petzl thingy) is part of West African religion- it's a device to ward off bad spirits and evil, but if used improperly, things can go horribly wrong for you. Since Petzl is a French-speaking country, and these West African religions (and their occidental counterpart, voudun, voodoo, whatevs) are Francophones, too, I imagine that's just a little too coincidental. There's gotta be some relationship there.

I lived in Senegal for a while before I started climbing, and someone made me a grisgris. When I started climbing, there were all these people talking about this device, and I simply thought there were a lot of voodoohippie climbers out there. Ahhh, the noobie days, when I wondered what the f*** beta was.


billcoe_


Sep 20, 2005, 9:19 PM
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Well, I'm surprised that this thread just sits here, obviously waiting for one such as I.

it's an interesting story to be sure Ninja. However, you may be shocked to hear the real story. I have this one instead and once started must now effuse prolifically in a Cliff Clavenly like effort to narrate the truth of the matter which has not been widely publicized the reasons of which you will soon see with clarity.

story.

The strange etymology of the Gri Gri name actually shocks and embarrasses us in the discrete western world as it originates from the Penis Gourds of the West Papua Indonesia and New Guinea natives and the masturbatory practices thereoff.

Please do not be offended dear reader, and follow along with a scientific frame of mind, for these stories are meant to inform and teach, and not titulate. So stop your snickering right now please.

http://www.rhymer.net/New%20Folder/gourd1.jpg

It's true.

The male natives of the SE Asian tribal species wear penis gourds both to protect and warm the Penis and to denote social status. The longer the gourd, the higher the social status of the individual. The highest status attained comes with the translated term westerners loosely call "The Big Dick". That is the teminology applied to the chief or leader, who is seen wearing the longest, and thickest penis gourd.

The term for rubbing the Gourds is called "ghrei" which interestingly is the original root from which "Christ" is derived, which is *ghrei- or "to rub." (Contracted to *ghri-). When rubbing to pleasurable finish and completion, the islanders would call that "ghri-ghri". They had learned this word "Ghrei" from the early missionaries when the Missionaries would try and teach the islanders to restrict their frequent embarrassingly public and messy sexual urges. The Islanders mistook the intent of the wording and made it their own: applying it to the frequent rubbing of the gourd when one was without woman but thinking one should be with one.
http://www.yourdictionary.com/...d.pl?date=2003-12-25

http://www.rhymer.net/New%20Folder/gourd

A young french explorer who was also a climber had wandered through this area of Penis gourd rubbing natives, and seeing the islanders conduct the motion which they called "GhriGhri", thought it was eerily similar the the motion any western climbing young man would make while feeding rope through the belay camming device while toproping a parner who was climbing fast: which he had recently invented. It was, without question, the very same motion as performing the rubbing of the gourd. Thus was born the name "GriGri".

So the next time you pull or yank that thin cord through the GriGri, thank the Penis Gourd wearing islanders and their missionary style rubbing and count your lucky toproping gym-climbing stars your dick is swaddled in cotton and not a Gourd and you have a mechanical device to hold the rope.

You are welcome, I'm always happy to help my fellow climbers increase their knowledge. If you have questions for the professor, I keep office hours from 3:15-4:45pm Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.


healyje


Sep 20, 2005, 10:27 PM
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What? No labs, no self study. Quite the story, I almost pissed on myself reading it.

But just to be clear, you're saying the principal device of sport and gym climbing has clear masturbatory roots and lineage. Well, I knew there had to be a reason why sport climbing just isn't as fulfilling as trad climbing. And those wee little bolts, why they must be the penis sheaths redux. And that would mean the two carabiners hanging under the bolts would be...

And so the roots of dropping whatever you are doing in town and dashing over to jerk up a line really involves some powerful Darwinian urges, I see. That also explains the circles of white stains on the ceilings at the tops of all the climbs at the gyms. Why, thanks professor its all make sense: the techno-hypno beat, hierarchal strutting, and most of all the smell.

And all this time I thought it had something to do with poodles - say, you don't think they're rubbing poodles do you...?!?!


t-dog
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Sep 21, 2005, 12:52 AM
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Re: the history of the grigri [In reply to]
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And all this time I thought it had something to do with poodles

hummm.... don't know where you got that one, but the french word for "poodle" is "caniche" last time I checked :wink:


healyje


Sep 21, 2005, 2:03 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
And all this time I thought it had something to do with poodles

hummm.... don't know where you got that one, but the french word for "poodle" is "caniche" last time I checked :wink:

It was a joke at the time when grigris first hit the US - that started out with someone's comment of it being such a "gay belay device"; after hearing the line it just happen to segue into the "poodle belay".


bill413


Sep 21, 2005, 5:56 AM
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billcoe - a wonderful exposition, & healyje - a wonderful commentary. Thank you both.
However, I have heard that grigri is the word for "monkey" in some language, and I, myself, have spread this (what now turns out to be) rumor.

So now, thinking about those white stains on the ceilings(!) and walls - I'm even less desirous of putting my hands in contact with them. Guess that means I won't be able to use any of the holds...


rock_ninja


Sep 21, 2005, 6:23 AM
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OK, I died laughing on this- your story is a lot better than mine, and the picture of the guy you have actually looks just like the Mandang man who gave me my grisgris- maybe it's different for women!

Also, poodle, is caniche, but there's some funny thing that Parisians liek to play on unsuspecting AMericans about poodles and poliemen- I can't quite remember how the whole thing goes.


billcoe_


Dec 28, 2006, 8:26 AM
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The write up is like a limp dick with out the picture. No visual impact.


deadhorse


Feb 2, 2007, 12:13 AM
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Re: [billcoe_] the history of the grigri [In reply to]
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maybe i'llmake a flash animation for you about what the parrallels between rope feeding and the "gourd-get-off" routine!


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