hand charm

A Hand of Fatimah charm, used by African and African American slaves for protection from spirits and witches.  This symbol came from Africa with enslaved persons, and is originally of Islamic origin.

To read more on the meaning of this charm click here to visit the exhibit blog.

lead counter inscribed with a cross
A lead counter inscribed with an “X.”  Most likely a representation of the ritual space in BaKongo cosmology, what archaeologists have called a “cosmogram.”  This ritual tradition came from West Africa.