Vintage Hmong Soul Lock Silver Pendant Necklace, Thailand ( T215DHL)
Chain 29″ Amulet H: 1.75″ W: 2.625″
This handmade Hmong “spirit lock” pendant amulet necklace was made with high-grade silver, worn as a protective talisman to “lock in” protective spirits. This trapezoid-shaped pendant is engraved with traditional Hmong motifs – dots, triangles, curved and lines within geometric sections, centered with two 4-leaf flowers and topped by spirals that may represent elephant trunks or coiled snakes.
Originally used by the Hmong in Southern China these “spirit soul locks” are worn as necklaces by the Hmong, Akha and Miao Hill-Tribes in China Thailand, Burma, Laos and Vietnam in healing rituals as protective talismans. Shamans perform ritual shamanism ceremonies to call back the restless souls of the sick, depressed or otherwise unstable, cast out evil spirits and replace them with positive protective spirits and have them wear a spirit lock that is then “locked in” by the talisman’s powers (Richter, p. 142). Silver rather than gold is the highest expression of wealth, status and beauty among the Hmong who use high content silver for decorative ornaments made by local Hmong metal smiths renowned for their skills. Made using hammering techniques, many pieces like this one have trapezoid-shapes with curling spirals above that some interpret as elephant trunks and coiled snakes. The Hmong begin to wear silver protective amulets soon after birth. This piece resembles ornaments worn by Chinese children that are padlock-like motifs worn to “…secure their soul magically and serve a similarly protective purpose.” (Richter, p. 122) In the past Chinese children traditionally also wore clothing and hats with sewn protective animal images (Berliner) and silver jewelry containing images to keep them safe (Duda).
Nancy Zeng Berliner, Chinese Folk Art, Boston, Brown and Company, 1986.
Margaret Duda, Four Centuries of Silver, Singapore, Times Editions, 2002.
|Dimensions||8.6 × 5.4 × 1.7 in|
|Place of Origin||
|Materials and Technique||
Chain: 29” Ht: 1.75” W: 2.625” D: 0.125”
Chain: 73.66cm Ht: 4.44cm W: 6.67cm D: 0.31cm
|Shipping Box Size|