Amulets or Balangandãs

Medium: Silver, stone, wood

Geograhical Locations:

Dates:19th century

Dimensions: amulet one: 6 × 4 1/2 × 2 in. (15.2 × 11.4 × 5.1 cm) amulet two: 11 × 4 3/4 × 2 in. (27.9 × 12.1 × 5.1 cm) chain: 28 1/2 in. (72.4 cm)


Museum Location: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor

Accession Number: 2011.60.41

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 1859 and 1869; closed hands; birds, fish; turtle; sheep; dogs; keys, fruits, pipes; knife; and an eyeball.

Brooklyn Museum