The Journey

Amulet Box (Ga'u)

  • 55
  • Labrang, Tibet
  • Ca. 1930
  • Silver set with coral and turquoise; copper center and back
  • H. 2 x Diam. 5 1/2 in. (5.1 x 14 cm)
  • Newark Museum, Purchase 1936, Carter D. Holten Collection, 36.328A–C

Amulet boxes are said to have protective powers that can be recharged with the reblessing of their contents or the introduction of new materials. This example, from the Labrang area of northeastern Tibet, could have been worn by either a man or a woman. The filigree decoration displays vegetal motifs to encourage plenty and fecundity. Turquoise is the stone most prized by Tibetans for jewelry and is believed to ward off evil; its color is supposed to change to calibrate the health of the wearer.

PHOTO CREDIT: Richard Goodbody, Newark Museum

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