Talismanic textile, probably Senegal, late 19th or early 20th century. Cotton, plain woven panels (4) joined and painted, with amulets of animal hide and felt attached by knotted leather strips, 255.2 x 178.8 cm. Art Institute of Chicago, African and Amerindian Purchase Endowment, 2000.326. Photograph courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago/Art Resource, NY

The Qur’anic passages written across this textile and contained in the amulets attached to it have therapeutic intent. Leather-encased amulets are also worn on the body in the form of necklaces and other items of adornment. The activation of the words of the Qur’an for protection and healing is a widespread Islamic practice.