Turtle amulet, United States, 1880-1920

Made:
1881-1920 in United States
maker:
Sioux people

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Amulet in form of turtle, made of hide decorated with guills, worn by girl children around neck to protect against illness, possibly Sioux Indian(?), USA, 1880-1920

Amulet in form of turtle, made of hide decorated with guills, worn by girl children around neck to protect against illness, probably Sioux Indian, USA, 1880-1920. The turtle is a symbol of fertility to many Native American peoples. When a child was born, the grandmother would traditionally make an amulet in the shape of a turtle. A piece of the baby's umbilical cord would be kept inside this amulet, and if the ritual was followed and the child kept the amulet, it was believed that it would provide protection against illness and ensure a long life.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A47761
Materials:
hide, iron, quill
type:
amulet
taxonomy:
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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