Turtle Amulet

Date: 1880-1900

 

Description: This amulet in the shape of a turtle is thought to be from the Santee tribe. Amulets are often carried and worn to bring people certain benefits or protections such as fertility, good luck, or even cure certain diseases. They are distinct from talismans, which usually describes an object imbued with supernatural power, and from other carved figures called fetishes, which are usually sacred carvings used in religious ceremonies. This amulet is beautifully decorated with beads and has the image of a turtle. The turtle has various meaning among different Native American tribes, but often it is used to symbolize long life and good health, as turtles and tortoises often have very long lives.

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