Charms include a jug
or vessel of some sort, musical bow instrument, 2 rings, bells,
pomegranate, and other fruits & vegetables.
The "Penca de
Balangandan" is a decorative brooch or pendant clasp, that holds charms
acquired by a slave either as gifts from his master or obtained to ward
off evil. The actual charm holder shape itself is representative of the
boats that took slaves from Africa to Brazil. The 2 birds facing each
other represent the two countries, Brazil and Africa.
The origin of "Penca
de Balangandan" began in Brazil, in the state of Bahia, where slaves
collected detailed symbolic charms representing spiritual beliefs or
important events, during colonial times. It ornament evolved into a
prosperity amulet that was downscaled into a pin or brooch. The tradition
continues yearly when "Bahianas" wear their "Penca de Balangandan" during