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    Large Indian Bhils Silver Amulet (Nama) with Bheru (Shiva)

    Bhil People, Rajasthan or Gujarat, India
    19th century

    height (of amulet): 15cm, width: 11.3cm, weight: 184g

    Available - Enquire


    private collection, London, UK.

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This large, tear-shaped pectoral amulet is of solid silver and was designed to be worn from a necklace as a protective device. It is chased with a figure of Bheru or Bhairava, a form of Shiva, popular among the Bhil (or Bheel) people, India’s largest tribal group. It shows the deity with four arms each holding an attribute. The figure’s hair is coiled like an aesthetic, a snake is wrapped around his neck, and he wears a lion’s skin loin cloth with the head of the lion visible clearly from the front.

    Bhils give this type of amulet the name of nama.

    Most such amulet plaques are small, but this example is as large as the palm of one’s hand.

    It has two silver loops at the top to allow it to be suspended. These are decorated with applied flower motifs. They are matched by a similarly decorated finial at the bottom.

    The amulet retains traces of ritual sindhoor powder.

    The reverse of the amulet has a thick vertical silver band.

    The amulet has its own attractive, custom-made display stand.


    Untracht, O., Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.

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