People: Various peoples; specifically Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and tribal people
Country: India; predominately Rajasthan and Gajarat
Amulets are energized power objects created to coerce the divine and to protect its wearer by counteracting the malicious forces of the spirit world who may cause harm, illness or disease. Invented generations ago, the use of amulets are still today universal across India. This is partly do to the faith one has in its working power and partly to the idea that it provides the wearer with a sense of identity within a community that shares the same beliefs.
The making of an amulet is done by a skilled blacksmith and specialty jeweler. To energize and activate the amulet, it is brought to a priest (purohit) or shaman (kahin) who performs magical incantations and rituals upon the amulet. At the time of its activation, in order for the amulet to properly work, the amulet and its reciever must go through ritual purity together.
Amulets are typically worn around the neck. However, they may also be placed on any part of the body to which they are meant to protect; such as the head, arm, wrist, fingers, legs and toes. Besides being worn on a daily basis or during times of psychological stress, the most common use of the amulet is in connection with religious rituals, such as the rite-of-passage events in the life stages of a male or female Hindu. Central to its use is the idea that every Hindu deity is believed to possess divine powers that, upon request from a devotee, they will dispense.
Dimensions: 3 1/2" H x 2 1/4" W x 1/4" D; 9 1/2" Circumference