A variety of amulets shaped like clenched fists are known as ficas or higas. These small charms were used by the Spanish as a means to ward off the “evil eye” and promote good health. The brass specimens at left were commonly suspended from soldiers’ horse saddles for protection. The hand-carved specimens at right are of black jet. Photo at left by Susan Dial, TARL Collections; right, Texas A&M-CRL.

Close Window