May 4, 2009

Prayer Pouch

This was designed for a friend's first born. It is loosely based on the tradition of African amulet bags that were made of leaves, tree bark, feathers, and animal skins by a female elder when a child was born.
The navel string (umbilical cord) was placed into the bag along with other talismanic objects believed to ward off evil spirits. The bag was worn under the child's outer clothing. By the time the natural materials used to make the bag wore out, the child was believed to be spiritually strong enough to have other protections in place.

The amulet pouch is about one inch by one inch. I placed a cowrie shell inside the pouch to represent prosperity.
In the interest of child safety, she was advised not to let the baby hold the pouch, since we all know things go right into their tiny mouths and beads are a choking hazard for babies. It is hung on the wall away from the crib.

9 Shared Thoughts:

Jamaican Dawta said...

Our history and ancestry are so rich with spirituality and deep meaning. Thanks for sharing this. I've learned something new.

Bless up, sistren.

Betty BeadBug said...

I think that is the sweetest thing! So many sweet babies around to leave and I always hope that they are proctected. I know your friend will cherish your gift and someday so will her firstborn. xo

LADY ROOTS said...

Sistren JD,
Each one, teach one! Nuh tru?

Sistren BBBJules,
Hug them, kiss them, shower them with unconditional love and protect them with prayer.

Bless Up,
Lady Roots

BetteJo said...

What a sweet thing! Anything to protect a baby is a good thing. And I love the colors. :)

LADY ROOTS said...

Sistren BetteJo,

Yes, we must protect di yute dem (the children). I am glad you like the colours. We weren't sure if it should be pink or blue, so I tried to balance them with some other soft colours.

Bless Up,
Lady Roots

Threadin' Along said...

Jamaican Dawta, you are so right about our history. I am from Portland with the Maroon backgroung so I my know a lot about protecting the wee ones.

Roots Lady, Thanks for sharing, it,s beautiful.

LADY ROOTS said...

Sistren Threadin'Along,

I am glad you like the prayer pouch. Maroons have a tradition of protecting their youth and their cultural heritage. Do you ever come home for the Freedom Day Celebrations on January 6th?

Bless Up,
Lady Roots

Maxine Clarke said...

This is truly beautiful. History alive.

LADY ROOTS said...

Sistren Maxine,
Peaceful greetings from Jamaica to Australia! I am glad you like the prayer pouch. I'll be watching for Black Lazarus.
Bless Up,
Lady Roots