amulet

General - A charm, carried or worn, to ward off evil: a medicine with magic properties.
  • In Assyria images of the gods, buried under the doorway, were said to give protection to the building.
  • Celtic amulets include figures of animals such as the boar and the horse.
  • The Chinese make amulets from the wood of the peach tree or from the stones of its fruit.
  • The Inuit believe that the soul of a sick child can be transferred to an amulet for safety until it recovers. They also sew various bits of animals to a boy's clothing so that he will take on the skills characteristic of those animals.
  • In India powerful amulets are made by gluing together pieces of various trees and binding them with gold wire. Some Hindus carry a locket with the image of a deity for protection, and in the Punjab they believe that the spirit that causes sciatica can be warded off by wearing a ring or an ear-ring made of copper.
  • In Jewish lore amulets are worn by women as protection against of words or phrases from scripture, written on paper.
  • A brass band is worn on the right arm in Lapland by anybody handling a corpse, to prevent the ghost of the dead person from causing harm.
  • The favorite amulet of the Maya was a golden frog.
  • In Mongolia, amulets are regarded as protection from thunder and lightning.
  • Some North American Indian tribes carry amulets in the form of animal parts (e.g. the foot of a deer) in the hope of acquiring the characteristics of that animal. Others carry bags of spruce needles ground to powder to protect from illness or bags of pollen to ensure wealth and happiness. Some carry tiny model canoes to protect the bearer from drowning.
Sometimes identified as amulet, charm, charm or talisman.

Nearby Myths