Heritage Site / Ethnography Site / Dakota Nakota Lakota / Family Life

Article: Amulets

The Lakota place the dried umbilical cord of the child into the amulet to keep as a continuing reminder of the life giving connection between child and mother. The lizard for the male and the turtle for the female are symbolic of the Lakota family's hopes for a long life and good health for the child. When the mother determines her child is of a responsible age, she gives the amulet to the child for wearing at special occasions. The balance for which the Lakota strive is linked to the amulet, and represents the origin of life.