Shaman's Charm

Shaman's Charm

mid-1800s

Bone

Overall: 3.2 x 18.1 x 1.8 cm (1 1/4 x 7 1/8 x 11/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1985.200

Description

Bone charms of this sort were carved by shamans or curers and used in healing rites. Sometimes called "soul-catchers," such charms may have been used to retrieve lost souls. Loss or theft of the soul was considered an important cause of illness.

See also
Department: 
Art of the Americas
Type of artwork: 
Jewelry
Medium: 
Bone

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