Children are among the most vulnerable creatures in the world. As the most precious thing their parents have, they are quick to attract the evil eye. From birth onwards, children are protected by amulets fastened on their clothing, their beds, in their rooms and in their house.
The four Egyptian amulets shown below are called zu’ra ,and have been related to birth and childhood since the beginning of the 20th century. As early as 1910, zu’ra amulets are described in a manuscript dealing with zar-rites, where they are prepared by pregnant women to ensure a succesful delivery. These early zu’ra amulets are probably beaded amulets. The silver examples have been researched in the 1980′s and appeared to have been specifically desginated for either boys or girls. The round shape is meant for girls, while the pear-shaped amulet is meant to protect boys.
The taswira-amulets shown below are from Oman, and are mostly worn by children.
Silver amulets to protect children, Egypt
Silver amulets mainly worn by children, Oman. Photo by De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam
Omani amulets often worn by children, consisting of teeth, horns, claws, thorns and pieces of wood
Necklaces of glass beads symbolizing the Eye are often worn by children. Photo by Wellcome Images