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Turtle shaped amulet, North America, 1880-1920

Decorated with beading, this turtle-shaped amulet made from animal hide is thought to contain an umbilical cord. The amulet was worn by girls until they reached puberty to ward of illness. In many Native American belief systems, turtles were thought to look after women's diseases.

Object number:

A51675

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    Glossary: protection

    The act or instance of warding off a threat, or preserves somone or something from injury or harm.

    Glossary: amulet

    Small object or piece of jewellery worn as a protecting charm to ward off ill health and bad luck.