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Back in the 80s I came across a book entitled Africa Adorned which I should have bought. In it were a number of images of West African shaman wearing robes covered in ox blood red leather amulets – filled with prayers, herbs and the unknown. Some images are never forgotten. These porcelain amulets filled with promises to protect, and studded with nails and desires, bring to mind Catholic votives too.

Images: Alison Brown and Robin Shelton.

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