Lumbu (or Lumbo) amulets, referred to miswinga (sing. muswinga), are small talismanic figurines commonly used by healer-diviners (nganga) and sorcerers (ndotchi) in Gabon. They serve as a means of protection against negative influences, such as evil spirits and witchcraft. The amulets are typically worn on the arms, neck, or waist and often depict women.
These amulets play a significant role in protecting individuals in various aspects of life, including health, hunting, fishing, pregnancy, and more. They are believed to harness the power of both supernatural forces and actual individuals, thereby providing protection in both the natural and spiritual realms.
To increase their potency, Lumbu amulets are typically treated with a mixture of padouk powder, palm oil, and charcoal. This enhances their effectiveness in safeguarding the wearer.
In summary, Lumbu amulets are an important part of Lumbu culture and tradition. They serve as symbols of strength and resilience and are used as a source of protection for individuals. Whether protecting against harm in the natural world or the spirit realm, miswinga amulets are revered for their power and significance in Lumbu culture.