Obj. ID: 36120
Sacred and Ritual Objects Amulet, Morocco, circa 1920
The following description was prepared by William Gross:
From earliest times, man has tried to protect himself from misfortune by the use of objects which he considered holy or otherwise (e.g., magically) potent. Amulets and talismans are items generally worn around the neck or wrist, carried in a pocket or purse or hung on a wall. They are meant to protect or aid those who carried or wore them. The Hebrew word for amulet, kame‘a, has the root meaning "to bind". Jewish amulets are usually comprised of texts (either letters or graphic symbols) that are inscribed on some sort of material; some may also contain plant matter or precious stones. The texts of amulets usually include holy names that are believed to have the ability to affect reality, along with incantations summoning angels or other magical powers. For the most part, an amulet has a specific purpose: to ease childbirth, facilitate recovery from illness, improve one’s livelihood, and so on, but in the modern world many are also made for general protection.
This is one of the rare Moroccan amulets in silver bearing a Hebrew inscription. This hanging rectangle pendant is inscribed with the 22-letter name of God that is the equivalent of part of the Priestly Blessing in Numbers 24-25. It is designed with bosses in each of the four corners. This example was clearly intended to be worn on a necklace and provides a general protection for the wearer. Inscription: The 22-letter name of God composed of the first letters of a 22 word quotation from the in Numbers 24-25. Ankatam Pastam......