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from Colonsay, Inner Hebrides

Postcard of Charm.
© National Museums Scotland


This seed of Guilandia Bonduc comes from Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides, where it is thought to have been used as a charm for protection in childbirth and placed in the hand of the woman by the midwife.

Seed of Guilandia Bonduc, probably cast up on Colonsay, sometimes used as a charm

Exotic tropical seeds have always been carried from West Africa, the West Indies or South America, onto British Atlantic coastal shores by the currents of the Atlantic Drift. This example was given to the Museum in 1898, when the belief in its power had disappeared. The seed itself may be much older.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-002-737-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.NO 53
Date: Possibly 19th century
Material: Guilandia Bonduc seed
Dimensions: 20 mm x 20 mm
Subject: Jewellery: charms, amulets (NMAS Classification)
Who: Galloway Collection
Where: Scotland, Argyll, Colonsay
  • Black, G.F. 'Scottish charms and amulets', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 27 (1892-3), pp 479-82 
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