Tooled leather amuletic case, Sudanese, c 1890-1920.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A case on a twisted leather thong. The square box is decorated with cros-hatch tooling on the front, and was used as an amulet to ward off headaches. An amulet is a personal ornament which, because of its shape, material, or colour, is believed to endow its wearer with certain powers or capabilities and offer protection. The Ancient Egyptians often used amulets to protect themselves against disease. The Egyptian words for 'amulet' come primarily from words meaning 'to guard' or 'protect' and also 'well being'.