Here are some photos of my Pakistani baby’s hat/cap covered in amuletic beads, mirrors, and embroidery that I bought at the International Folk Art Market last month. The fabric is rayon. The very skilled embroiderer used metal, glass and plastic beads, buttons, and bells, in addition to cotton embroidery thread, to decorate the cap. I have been told that the cap was worn by a real baby at the market opening festivities. I am displaying the hat on this chimpanzee stuffed animal in my living room.
My favorite book on the meaning and purpose of amulets from an anthropological perspective is Sheila Paine’s Amulets: Sacred Charms of Power and Protection. Human babies are very vulnerable to predation, injury and disease. They have long been dressed in clothing covered with amulets around the world for thousands of years.