Wednesday, September 25, 2013

of amulets and talismans and curiousity satisfied...

here's a nice link to a beautiful exhibition of boro

and then

Remember the tiny sealed pouch attached to the sleeve of that wonderful old afghan dress?

Jenni Worth has been doing some investigative deconstruction and supplied the following text and images

I did undo the stitching & I did take it back to ask about the writing carefully folded inside & this is the response the person I bought the dress from received when he sent it to a friend for translation.

WOW! how interesting. This looks like an old “Taviz” for sure. Taviz in our culture has its own significance and mystical power and influence on people lives.
Usually week or in-secure people (mostly women) go to muslim scholars or peers (saints) and request to write them a Taviz for their respective problems in lives.
A Taviz has this typical scripts that contains Quranic versus and names of Allah and some prayers. Once it is written it is then kept in the shape of locket around
the neck or can be tied to any other part of the body in a leather case or cloth. People believe that then it protects and helps

I forwarded this to one of my friends in Peshawar today who further showed it one of prominent muslim scholars of the turkoman community there.
According to him this must have been written in olden days as we don’t see such writings among Afghan Mullahs any more. They are more cultures and defined today
but this seem more genuine and authentically written. Let me try to narrate what it means:

The three letters on the very top are the urdu digits meaning “Bismillah hireh man nir Raheem” (I start with the name of Allah the most gracious & merciful)

Meaning Of the first line: These are Quran verses that means: Right Hand of any man or woman who steals should be cut off as a punishment”

Second Line: Not Quran verse but it says: By the power, grace, and barakaat of the immortal and eternal

Third Line: Not Quran verse but it says: By the power, grace and barakaat of the invisible force of strong men

Fourth Line: By the grace & power of Saints and Prophets, the stealer should appear and should never hide

Fifth Line: By the grace & power, barakaat of Hazrat Esa and Moosa

Sixth Line: By Grace & power of Hazrat Ibrahim Ya Allah

Again the 3 digits and in the box the writer of this Taviz calls Allah by saying:

Oh who protects from the evil & who is the most powerful & merciful
Oh who is Living & shall always Live

So I think the pathani who had this dress must have had this Taviz written and kept it tied to her dress so that
no one could steal her belongings or assets from her.

Lastly ---- the script number 2 demonstrates the stamp of the Mullah in the shape of star and on the right he
writes “DAFI OEN” that means Protector / Savor From The Evil Force”

How blessed am l to be carer of such a treasure!
And thankyou 'Star of the East' for your comment. You were absolutely correct about that small bag.

Amulets & talismans from different cultures have long fascinated me. This is one of my favourite treasures which l assume has Buddhist prayers sealed inside.
It is made of leather & metal but I have co-opted the concept & am making my own pieces using fragments of old textiles.
I will take some pics to show some examples & paste them here soon.
Is anyone else doing anything similar?

Jenni Worth


  1. How amazing to find something like that, would love to look at the images but they won't open.

  2. Ditto....I can't open the images either.....I am waiting with excitement to see them!!!

  3. How exciting to find this! Thank you for filling us in, it's all so interesting!

  4. Alas no pictures! I was so excited.. probably more so now..

  5. OH YES! I've always loved these mysterious packets and have some of my own.....never to brave to open them! I have also drawn up patterns to make my own, however have not executed them as of yet....I can't wait to see how you progress with this idea! Thank you for this inspiration. OH, and I am having some thoughts on this downsizing idea at 'our age'.....I think we may simply be making room for the 'more' of our lives.

  6. I know nothing about such things but am completely intrigued. Something about keeping the words in secret, and "Protector / Savor From The Evil Force" ~ prayers really. How many women over time have stitched secrets into their hems? Hiding in plain sight. Powerful stuff.

  7. Hi Martine,
    This is a very interesting post and it seems to be a good idea to me to wear an amulet or keep sake to protect you from evil energies. Amazing to find the little note sewn into such a pretty dress. Affirmations can be quite powerful and I believe they really do work!
    Thank you for your kind message and good wishes on my blog. The home is very important to feel rooted and stable. Your home sounds lovely.

    1. hi Jo,
      the post was by Jenni Worth [not Martine, though she is a contributor to the blog]. it gets a bit confusing at times [especially when i end up posting for other people]. thanks for swinging by.

  8. I've only heard of a Taviz being worn as a pendant on a chain or cord around the neck or around the upper arm. This is really interesting. Thank you for sharing.