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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/470

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Notes on Spanish Amulets.^


During a trip through Spain, in 1905, I made numerous inquiries concerning amulets, the results of which are embodied in the following notes. These enquiries were made entirely in towns of more or less importance, mostly upon objects in actual use or exposed for sale, and were addressed to persons of the lower and the rqiddle classes. The scope of my paper is there- fore somewhat limited, because in Spain, as in other countries, the beliefs in connection with amulets persist longer in the villages and smaller towns than in the cities.

At the present time, in the cities at least, the employment of the ancient amulets seems to be rapidly disappearing, their places being taken, to a certain extent, by the religious medals which formerly were worn simultaneously with them. Very few of the amulets noted appear still to be made, though some of the less rare ones may be found in use in a worn condition. Thus it was difficult, and sometimes impossible, to ascertain and to verify the nature of the use of an amulet, for which reason these notes must be taken as indicative rather than definitive. From various statements made it appears that of late years a considerable interest has been taken in the gathering of Spanish amulets, and that there are several collections of them in Spain, but I have not verified these statements, nor have I examined any of the collections reputed to exist.

^Forming the basis of a paper read before the Society, April 25, 1906.