Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/487

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Collectanea. 465

amber necklaces which are commonly employed in many parts of the Continent are in Spain retailed at the shops for the sale of surgical instruments. According to the popular belief these necklaces produce their effects through the mere wearing, and do not need to be bitten upon by the child. Most of the amber necklaces seen exposed for sale were composed of facetted beads which, so it was said, are preferred because of their finer and more brilliant appearance, though they are more irritating to the skin than beads having a smooth surface. It is possible that the teeth, Nos. 37 and 38, PI. VI., were intended as aids in dentition.

The finger-rings noted below, set with infants' teeth, were said to be memento rings simply, and to have no amuletic significance.^

(40, IV.) A pointed piece of bone, rudely engraved, mounted in silver ; Seville. A contemporary amulet commonly worn by infants as an aid to dentition and against the evil eye.

(41, IV.) A necklace of bone beads, for an infant; Madrid.

(42, VIII.) A necklace of smooth amber beads, for an infant; Madrid.

(42, VI.) A silver finger-ring set with an infant's molar ; Toledo. A similar ring was obtained at the same time.

Shells. The opercule of the trochus shell, an amulet used in Asia and in Africa as well as in many parts of Europe, is common in Spain. Its popular Italian name, "The Eye of S. Lucy," and its reputed virtue, in Italy, as a remedy for eye- troubles," appeared to be known, but not familiarly, to a few of the Spaniards questioned about it. In Spain it is called haba (pronounced " awa "), a bean, and is employed principally as a charm against megrims or headache, faqueca, a trouble which, judging from the number of habas in use, must be rather general. In rare instances it was said to secure good fortune for the wearer. It is usually mounted in a finger-ring, often of silver, occasionally of copper. At Granada the statement was made

1 Pliny, op. cit., XXVIII., 9, speaks of the first tooth an infant has shed, and which has not been permitted to touch the ground, set in a bracelet and worn constantly by a woman as a preservative against certain pains.

^Bellucci, op. cit., Tablet XI.