Lemons, Peppers and Garlic
as Apotropaions in a Punjabi Grocery Store
in West Philadelphia

This amulet is much like others pictured in other files of the collection. The hanging of the lemon and peppers is done in the same manner as file ind002. The amulet is quite similar in composition to that in file ind003, having peppers, garlic, a lemon and a blue ribbon at the top. This one also contains red string and a bell. Blue and red are common apotropaic colors. The bell is also apotropaic (as well as practical), making the whole ensemble quite a complex apotropaion. Like the other amulet found in West Philly, file ind004, it is also dried up and slightly dust covered.

In the store itself, over the vegetable boxes, a string of plastic vegetables hangs, including lemons, peppers and garlic. This reminds me of the many Italian plastic charms against the evil eye. If one did not know better, they might simply think that this string of plastic vegetables simply marked the vegetable section like a sign.


The Indian Collection


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