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Amulets or Balangandãs

Decorative Arts and Design

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
MEDIUM Silver, bone, wood
  • Place Made: Brazil
  • DATES 19th century
    DIMENSIONS Amulet one: 6 3/4 x 5 11/16 x 1 3/4 in. (17.1 x 14.4 x 4.4 cm) Amulet two: 5 x 3 1/4 x 1 in. (12.7 x 8.3 x 2.5 cm) Chain: 31 in. (78.7 cm)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2011.60.40
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of Margarita H. Button
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Two groups of amulets, referred to as balangandãs in Portuguese, that are hung from two silver holders and joined by a silver chain. These ornaments, which are worn round the neck or on belts, assure good fortune and protection and are characteristic of the gold and silver jewelry worn by African slaves or former slaves in Brazil during the 18th and 19th centuries. The amulets include coins dated 1861 and 1865; closed hands; birds, fish; turtle; horse; sheep; keys, fruits, pipes; moons; knife; and animal fangs and claws.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
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