Amulet Trail: Qur'anic amulet, Nigeria

1980.11.1PRM 1980.11.1

The amulet maker is known by different names in different societies. He may be a medicine man, witch doctor, herbalist, sorcerer, or healer. In Islamic communities, he is often a holy man - a mullah or, in West Africa, a marabout. He encases small slips of paper bearing excerpts from the Qur'an (Koran) in Arabic script into pouches of leather or textile, or even silver containers. Sometimes he supplements the charm with local herbs or other substances to create a natural remedy for illness and disease.

Market shoemaker secretly making a leather case for an amulet, Cameroon (Sheila Paine)

Artisans of Memory

Behind the scenes of an amulets project

This series of short films follows the progress and practices of those connected with the Small Blessings project as they unravel the stories surrounding these curious objects.

The full series of films may be viewed here.


Amulets Competition

The competition is now closed and a winner has been announced. Find out more here.

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