Protective child amulets
To a special group belong amulets and talismans for children, especially vulnerable and desirable to the evil forces. Among special children apotropaic amulets almost all over the world are rattles or other noisy and ringing items driving out evil spirits. The Indians of the Americas used in this role amulets – rattles – dried gourd with dry seeds in them. in Russia – dried poppy heads and woven from birch bark toys, emitting a rustling sound. The descendants of the ancient tintinnabutum – equipped with bells suspension, depicting men with a huge phallus, suspended on a cradle throughout Europe. In Central Asia, the bells were worn on a chain around kids’ neck; silver, bronze, copper suspension with bells became so familiar to all of us modern plastic rattle in the form of beads for strollers. Many apotropes were put to the newborn at the bottom of the crib or bassinet. In Europe over the cradle hung bells, horns and Fig signs (Italy, Spain), shells, cowries, and under the pillow put mole foot or claw of big animal, the rooster spurs, horns of black kid, scarab, brush (counting its “hair” distracted the witches from the child), a sharp object – a knife, scissors (the evil forces stumbled on them); amulet made of wax Easter candles.
In the role of amulets were red threads with a plurality of nodes on the wrists of babies (they were not taken off until adulthood); Dried bud of primrose in amulets – from witchcraft; holy pictures, pouches, preferably red, with three nails – from the witches; three pinches of salt, three grains of wheat – to wealth; Three black peas – for good vision; tuft of badger hair – from the evil eye; The first page of the Gospel, or a piece of paper with the first words of the Mass, three stones with the junction of roads, as well as fragments of dried umbilical cord or placenta, if a child is born “in a shirt”.
In the European region, the children certainly had crosses hung on the neck on a chain or silk (leather) red cord, low coral, stones with a hole (“Chicken God”), horns, hearts, anchors, carved from coral, carved figs. Especially vigilant was guarded a child born weak or who was born in a family where the children have already died; this kid in Yugoslavia had
pierced right ear, with the earring – ancient coin on a silk cord.
An interesting example of an entire culture of children apotrope can serve decorations from Turkmenistan, the region where until recently the infant mortality rate was horrendously high. The youngest child had a cap with cowrie shell sewed to it, cloth or wooden triangles, beads of blue paste, white, black or blue buttons, coins, owl feathers, on his neck hung a piece of wood, cloth amulet on a motley band with prayer inside a silver triangle “doga”. Older children wore on legs silver or copper bracelets (often with bells), hand bracelets of colored or black with white beads. Those charms are mounted on the outer clothing, complementing them with applications, embroidery, pearl buttons, silver plaques (for girls) and buckles (for boys), braids of camel’s hair, tufts of hair from the first haircut, beams of feathers, silver amulets, various silver Garnished with carnelian rustling shelpe pendants.
After five years, mainly for boys apotropeic became okyay (“Bow-Arrow”) – the flat openwork silver with bells or arrow-shaped pendants decoration in the form of a stylized bow and arrow. It was placed on the back of his robe, the boy grew up brave and strong, was lucky as a warrior and hunter. Sometimes okyay was worn by girls, in order in the family was born a boy.
Girls were guarded by numerous ear and nasal-charms: silk thread with beads, beaded jewelry, sticks of wood, feathers of owl. On skullcap sewed silver triangles doga, cylindrical tumar amulets, amulets with salt and coal, massive silver jewellery “bird’s claw.” The traditional talisman for girls was kupba – silver cap hemisphere with the vertical tube in the center, worn over skullcaps, seven or eight year-old girls were ‘equipped’ with amulets for brides including silver bells.
The ritual jade bi disk. Henan Province. China. Disc Bi with a circular hole was
a symbol of heaven. Initially a very simple shape, it gradually acquired a rich decorative border. Sometimes it depicted dragons (Dragon was the spirit of the rain), sometimes “grain pattern” or geometric pattern of lozenges. At the burial bi was placed under the back, and the symbol of the Earth tsung – on the stomach of the deceased.