The miraculous origin of Qalandar amulets: notes on the material religion of dervishes and devotees in Pakistan

  • Jürgen Wasim Frembgen


In the diverse religious traditions of the Middle East and South Asia, devotees often
protect themselves in daily life through amulets. Particular significance is attributed
to the powers of jewels and gems, as well as to the virtues of fabulous stones and
concretions. The meaning of such stones in terms of colour and symbolism is
interpreted by local experts, who frequently refer to mythological narratives. Some
of these stones are thought to have magic qualities in warding off, for instance, the
‘evil eye’ or the malevolent powers of ghosts and demons. Others are supposed to
transmit good luck, to avert misfortune or to energize the person who carries them
around his neck or on a ring.

Research Notes