Wooden Cattle Amulets / Animal Amulets from Afghanistan

Information on Wooden Cattle Amulets / Animal Amulets

The wooden cattle amulets (more precisely: cattle amulet containers) presented here originate from Afghanistan. They were bound around the animal’s neck in order to protect it from the evil eye, from illness and accidents. The actual amulet consists of a small, multiple folded piece of paper which was inserted in a whole of the wooden container; the whole was then closed with a wooden peg, wax, and/or other materials. The paper was inscribed (frequently by a Mullah) with quotations, symbols or formulas from handbooks of magic or from the Koran. When an animal died or was slaughtered, the amulet (paper) was not carelessly thrown away but was, for example, put into a stream to be carried away by the pure element of water (see Frembgen, 1989).

Frembgen (1989) distinguishes seven shapes of the wooden containers: 1. round disc; 2. leaf; 3. rectangle; 4. slate; 5. bell; 6. mihrab; 7. wedge.

Reference: Frembgen, J. W. (1989). Amulette für Rinder: Ethnographisches Material aus Afghanistan und Pakistan. Baessler-Archiv, Neue Folge, 37, p. 401-413.

Cattle Amulet / Animal Amulet 1

Height: 9,5 cm     Diameter of disc: 6,5 cm     Depth: 2 cm     Weight: 73 gram

Animal Amulet 1, Front

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Cattle Amulet / Animal Amulet 2

Height: 11,5 cm     Width: 7 cm     Depth: 2 cm    Weight: 93 gram

Animal Amulet 2, Front

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Cattle Amulet / Animal Amulet 3

Height: 16 cm     Maximal width: 8,5 cm     Maximal depth: 2,5 cm     Weight: 110 gram

Animal Amulet 3, Front

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Cattle Amulet / Animal Amulet 4

Height: 9.5 cm    Diameter of disc: 5.5 cm    Depth: 2 cm    Weight: 51 gram

Animal Amulet 4, Back

Animal Amulet 4, Front

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Cattle Amulet / Animal Amulet 5

Height: 9,5 cm      Diameter of the disc: 6 cm      Depth: 2 cm      Weight: 35 gram

Animal Amulet 5, Front

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Cattle Amulet / Animal Amulet 6

Height: 11 cm    Length: 8.5 cm    Depth: 2.5 cm    Weight: 175 gram

Animal Amulet 6, View 1

Animal Amulet 6, View 1

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Cattle Amulet / Animal Amulet 7

Height: 11,5 cm      Width: 8,5 cm      Depth 2,5 cm     Weight: 95 gram

Animal Amulet 7, Front

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Cattle Amulet /Animal Amulet 8

Height: 9 cm    Length (max): 6.5 cm    Depth: 2 cm    Weight: 53 gram

Animal Amulet 8, Front

Animal Amulet 8, Front

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Cattle Amulet / Animal Amulet 9

Height: 15 cm    Diameter of disc: 9 cm    Depth: 2.5 cm    Weight: 115 gram

Animal Amulet 9, Front

Animal Amulet 9, Front

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Cattle Amulet /Animal Amulet 10

Height: 11 cm   Diameter of disc: 8 cm    Thickness: 2.3 cm    Weight: 98 gram

Animal Amulet 10, Front

Animal Amulet 10, Front

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Cattle Amulet / Animal Amulet 11

Height: 14,5 cm    Thickness: 2 cm    Weight: 75 gram

Animal Amulet 11, Front

Animal Amulet 11, Front

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Cattle Amulet / Animal Amulet 12

Height: 13 cm    Thickness: 2 cm    Weight: 78 gram

Animal Amulet 12, Front

Animal Amulet 12, Front

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