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Medicine man's bag, Congo, West Africa, 1871-1910

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Herbs, minerals and objects for divination were held in this leather bag. It was used by a shaman in the Congo region of West Africa. Shamen were referred to as medicine men. The bag was made in the late 1800s. It forms part of a larger outfit worn by a shaman. The drawstring bag is fringed with beads made of small seeds and coiled leather disks. These distinctive accessories identify healers and show their status within their community.

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