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H’mong Tribe Silver Spirit Lock Necklace | c. 1940

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H’mong Tribe Silver Spirit Lock Necklace | c. 1940

This finely crafted piece was made high in the mountains of southeast China, Laos, Thailand and Burma (modern day Myanmar) by an indigenous hill tribe. The Hmong people are know for their spiritual beliefs of multiple souls and the need to maintain each one to ensure a healthy life. Illness can occur when one or more soul is lost and the severity of sickness directly equates to the number of missing souls. To cure ailments and restore vitality, the village Shaman performs healing rituals; specifically a “hu plig” (soul-calling ceremony) is carried out to summon wandering spirits home. Once reinstated a Spirit Lock is worn to ensure the soul’s protection and ward off future escape. A vital piece of Hmong culture, additional amulets—up to six—can be added over the course of a lifetime, starting with one given at birth for preventative measures. This stunning silver neckpiece has three Spirit Locks hung in tiers from a textured, chord-like collar. Featuring incised geometric patterns throughout, the banded chain-link strands are decorated with dangling pincer-form charms. The whole is mounted in a fitted glass and wood frame. Measurements reflect display case.
Origin | Laos
Year Made | 20th Century
Material | Silver
Dimensions | 22.38"W x 2.5"D x 21"H
ID | 07M01049
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