Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/481

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Collectanea. 46 1

of the complex hand-amulets (compare Nos. 23 and 24). At Seville an ovoid pendant of jet having a cross rudely cut upon it, was noted, and at Madrid several small religious images of the same substance. A Spanish physician, Gutierrez, writing on fascination in the middle of the seventeenth century, says that infants wore a "fica" of jet, at the neck, against the evil eye, and that there was a belief that this would split, taking all the injury upon itself, if the wearer were exposed to the evil influence.^ The "Antipathes" ("counteracting stone") mentioned by Pliny,^ a black non-translucent stone which magicians recommended as protective against witchcraft, may have been jet.

Bells. Small bells are in common use, frequently in con- junction with other amuletic objects. Practically every horse, mule, or donkey in Spain wears a bell, however tiny and feeble it may be, not necessarily, perhaps, as an acknowledged protection, but certainly as a concession to some once universal custom. To many children's amulets, also, there are little bells attached. It is fair to assume that the sound of these bells, as amongst the ancient Romans and the modern Italians, was formerly intended to keep the wearer from witchcraft and fascination. Compare Nos. 18 and 28 (VI.) ; and 39 (VII.).

Badgers. (27, V.) A paw, mounted in silver, said to be that of a badger, brought into Spain from abroad, and formerly considered efficacious against the evil eye ; Granada. A similar paw, in much the same condition, was obtained at Toledo; another was noted at Madrid.

The strap around the neck of a horse, to which the bells are attached, is often lined with badger-skin, the hairs of which form a narrow fringe around the edge of the leather. The use of this skin may be to keep the strap from galling the animal, but it is much more likely to be either amuletic or the survival of an amuletic custom. No statements as to

^ J. L. Gutierrez, Opusculu?n de Fascino, Lugduni, 1653, p. 38.

- Pliny, Natural History, xxxvii. 54. He speaks elsewhere (xxxvi. 34) of a variety of jet under the names of "Gagates. "