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|Item-Description:||Aymara soapstone fetish, charm or amulet|
|Origin:||Bolivia Andes - Aymara|
|Dimensions:||Height 9 cm|
|Age:||Early 19th century|
|Provenance:||Collected Bolivia 1974 from a local family|
|Notes:||This is a protective amulet or charm (Uta Illa) carved in huamanga, an alabaster soapstone commonly found in the Andes, designed to bring good luck to the carrier. Such amulets are commonly used by both the Aymara and Quetcha Indians. The amulets often carry traces of untu or spiritual fat from the llamaís chest, which is rubbed onto amulets and ritual objects, as well as participantís faces and hands, during religious ceremonies. Amulets are usually carried but can also be buried. They are used for protection, fertility, luck etc., and are believed to have magical powers.|
This example shows an Indian holding his head between his hands in contemplation.