Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
In Africa, many ethnic groups use objects that have been set aside as sacred for the purpose of protection. Thus, an amulet in this sense is anything that can be used to bring safety to the carrier of the object. Among some African people, such as the Tamaschek of Mali and Burkina Faso, the amulet might be a tattoo on one's body. However, in most cases, it is a religious figure or some symbol that represents an aspect of the African religion that can be worn around the neck, ankle, or wrist. The amulet is not simply worn; it is accepted as a living, vital symbol that acts as a protector of the individual wearing it. Among some African people, a stone, especially a gemstone, might be considered a guarantor of fortune, welfare, and prosperity. Indeed, the idea of the amulet is ...