Algerian, Italian and Tunisian amulets from the Hildburgh Collection, acquired before 1920
Amulets such as these were worn on the body or kept in the home
for two major reasons. Some, such as the two Muslim hands of Fatima
and the cloth heart made by Catholic nuns to pin on the clothing of
babies, were believed to protect the wearer against the 'evil eye'.
Others, such as the container of saints' relics, were believed to
cure ill health.