Author(s): FRANCIS DORIS
Amulets are objects of supranormal potency that safeguard the wearer during critical periods of life passage and transformation. Ex-votos, small metal objects often in the shapes of human figures or specific parts of the body, are presented as gifts to supernatural beings in thankful reciprocation for favours received. Drawing on examples from the Alexander Girard Collection at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, this book describes the actual uses and ritual of the objects by people around the world who embrace different systems of faith and follow distinct cultural and ritual practices. The contributors, comprising an international group of historians, curators, folklorists, and anthropologists, focus on select pieces collected from Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia; Spain and Italy; Byzantium, Greece, and Poland; Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, Ethiopia; Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, Turkey, Iran; Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Japan.