Children jewellery as an apotropaion
Source document: . Ikonografické prameny ke studiu tradiční kultury. 1. vyd. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2011, pp. 141-163
A remarkable but so far neglected phenomenon in the cultural history of the humankind is children's jewellery which is considered a miniature of adult jewellery and an aesthetic accessory. Its main function is much more fundamental, i.e. the magical function resulting from the effort to protect the child from illnesses and evil forces and to ensure a happy and successful life for the child. This natural desire is common without exception to all ethnic communities and their cultures, even though it is expressed in different ways. Children's jewellery then in different specific forms fulfils the role of the amulet. We have iconographic records mostly from aristocratic and burgher circles; in the country amulet jewellery was replaced with more affordable means, mainly red ribbons and red embroidery on shirts. Anything to which special powers were ascribed could become an amulet: it could be a material of extraordinary characteristics or an unusual origin, or an object in an interesting shape, or an artificially created symbol; sea coral enjoyed special popularity.
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