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An amulet is an object whose most important characteristic is the power ascribed to it to protect its owner from danger or harm. Amulets are different from talismans as a talisman is believed to bring luck or some other benefit, though it can offer protection as well. Amulets are often confused with pendants—charms that hang from necklaces—any given pendant may indeed be an amulet, but so may any other charm which purports to protect its owner from danger. Potential amulets include gems, especially engraved gems, statues, coins, drawings, pendants, rings, plants, and animals; even words in the form of a magical spell or incantation to repel evil or bad luck. The word "amulet" comes from the Latin amulētum; the earliest extant use of the term is in Pliny's Natural History, meaning "an object that protects a person from trouble".

Clay Plate Amulets
Often referred to academically as votive tablet, is a kind of Buddhist blessed item. It is used for raising funds in order to help the temple producing the amulets. The best known type is Thai Buddha Amulets. The museum displays around 150 of varieties of clay plate amulets in the collection from 18th to 21th century.

Amulets Phra Khun Phaen as the King of Heaven, from Thailand, c.19th century.
Legendary Khun Paen lived between 1491-1529. He is the legendary Ayuthaya warrior living some 450 years ago. His name later became the name of a kind of votive tablets found at Wat Bankrang, Suphanburi Province, about a century ago.

Phra Somdej Amulet from Thailand, c.20th century. 
Phra Somdej were created by Somdej Phra Buddhacara Toh Prommarangsi (Somdej Toh). He's a son of King Rama I. He started to make Phra Somdej amulets in B.E.2409. Total of 84,000 amulets was made at the time. Phra Somdej Wat Rakhang is once of the most famous and the best amulets from Thailand.

Very rare red clay of Phra Khun Phaen as the Budha, c.19th century.
Legendary Khun Paen lived between 1491-1529. He is the legendary Ayuthaya warrior living some 450 years ago. His name later became the name of a kind of votive tablets found at Wat Bankrang, Suphanburi Province, about a century ago.

Phra Pidta from Thailand, c.19th century.
The closed eye Buddha, called Phra Bit Tah or Phra Pidta in Thailand, is a uniquely Thai posture in which the Buddha covers his eyes to see no evil and at times also covers his ears, belly and private parts. Phra Pidta was an apprentice of Buddha according to the legend. 

Devotional & Sacramental & Magic Medals
A devotional medal is a medal issued for religious devotion most commonly associated with Roman Catholic faith, but sometimes used by adherents of the Orthodox and Anglican denominations, and pagan or wicca faith also. A medal may be defined to be a piece of metal, usually in the form of a coin, not used as money, but struck or cast for a commemorative purpose, and adorned with some appropriate effigy, device, or inscription. In the present article we are concerned only with religious & magic medals. The museum displays around 500 of varieties of devotional and magic medals in the collection from 18th century to 21th century.

Lourdes Shrine's Medal, bronze, produced in Lourdes, France, 1858.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes or the Domain is an area of ground surrounding the Catholic shrine (Grotto) to Our Lady of Lourdes in the town of Lourdes, France. 

The Miraculous Medal, silver, produced in France, 1830.
The Miraculous Medal (French: Médaille miraculeuse), also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, is a medal, the design of which was originated by Saint Catherine Labouré following her vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary and made by goldsmith Adrien Vachette. Although not an official teaching of the Catholic Church, some Catholics believe that wearing the medal with faith and devotion can bring special graces through the intercession of Mary.

St. Benedict Medal, from Rome, Italia, c.20th century.
The Saint Benedict Medal is a Christian sacramental medal containing symbols and text related to the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia, used by Roman Catholics, as well as Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and the Western Orthodox, in the Benedictine Christian tradition, especially votarists and oblates. The medal is one of the oldest and most honored medals used by Christians and due to the belief in its power against evil is also known as the "devil-chasing medal".As early as the 11th century, it may have initially had the form of Saint Benedict's cross, and was used by pope Leo IX.

Devotional Bone Carving Amulets
Bone carving is the act of creating art forms by carving into animal bones and often includes the carving of antlers and horns and ivoire also. Bone statue and scrupture is one of the most important amulets and talismans in the world culture. Most of our objects in this collection are from asian faith and belief. The museum displays around hundred of varieties of bone amulet in the collection.

Elephant Bone engraved Budai Boudha, Chine, c.20th century.
Laughing Buddha or Budai or Pu-Tai is a Chinese folkloric deity. His name means "Cloth Sack,"and comes from the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying. He is usually identified with or seen as an incarnation of Maitreya, the future Buddha, so much so that the Budai image is one of the main forms in which Maitreya is depicted in China. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the Laughing Buddha. In the West, the image of Budai is often mistaken for Gautama Buddha, and is hence called the Fat Buddha.

Human fetus skull (a false object, acutally a monkey skull) from Cambodia, c.20th century.
The human fetus skull, in many shaman faith, contains a very high feudal power, used in thousands years in the black magic. 

Antler, France, c.20th.
Antler headdresses were worn by shamans and other spiritual figures in various cultures, and for dances; 21 antler "frontlets" apparently for wearing on the head, and over 10,000 years old, have been excavated at the English Mesolithic site of Starr Carr. Antlers are still worn in traditional magic dances such as Yaqui deer dances and carried in the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. In the velvet antler stage, antlers of elk and deer have been used in Asia as a dietary supplement or alternative medicinal substance for more than 2,000 years.

Asian Lucky Jade Plates
The most famous of this kind of amulets is the chinese "yupei". Yupei is a small jade plate (or others precious stones), which can be held easilly in the palm, that is believed give the lucky or the protection to the owner. This tradition was popular in at least 1000 years ago in East Asian (Japan, China, Vietnam, Korea...). The museum displays around hundred of varieties of jade lucky plates in the collection. 

Green jade plate engraved a asian licorn (a qilin) enjoying a pentacles, c.20th century.
The qilin is a mythical hooved chimerical creature known in Chinese and other East Asian cultures, said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or illustrious ruler. It is a good omen thought to occasion prosperity or serenity. It is often depicted with what looks like fire all over its body. 

Green jade plate engraved two asian dragon enjoying the cloud, c.20th century. 
Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in chinese mythology and chinese folklore. The dragons depicted as snake-like with four legs. Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods.

Yellow agate plate engraved a asian licorn (Sinyou) enjoying a flower, c.20th century. 
The Sinyou also called Hiai Chai, Chiai Tung, or Kai Tsi) is a mythical creature known throughout various East Asian cultures, often compared to the Qilin. The appearance of the Sinyou is similar to that of a Qilin, but more feral and imposing. It is a large quadruped with a feline or ovine body, a shaggy mane, and is either depicted with hooves or feline paws (the latter often to stress its difference from the Qilin).

Christian Holy Cards (Prayer Cards)
In the Christian tradition, holy cards or prayer cards are small, devotional pictures mass-produced for the use of the faithful. They usually depict a religious scene or a saint in an image about the size of a playing card. The reverse typically contains a prayer, some of which promise an indulgence for its recitation. The circulation of these cards is an important part of the visual folk culture of Roman Catholics, and in modern times, prayer cards have been also become popular among Orthodox Christians and Protestant Christians, although with the latter, biblical themes are emphasized within them. The museum displays around 1000 of varieties of Holy Cards.

Virgin Mary and Holy Christ, gold leaf gilding on wood, Vilnius, c.21th century.

Holy Card "Our Lady and Christ" with a beautiful paper lace art, Paris, France, 1852.   

Holy Card "Our Lady and Christ" in ancient chromolithograph printing, by Bouasse-Lebel Editeur, Paris, France, 1909.

Holy Card "Sadness of Christ" with a beautiful paper lace art, Paris, France, c.19th century.

Taoist & Shinto Shinpu 
In Taoist (Daoist), a Fulu (符籙) or Shenfu (神符) is a kind of amulet or talisman for Daoist practitioners in the past who could draw and write supernatural. They believed functioned as summons or instructions to deities, spirits, or as tools of exorcism, as medicinal potions for ailments. It is believed by Taoists that in the past the ability to write Shenfu had been once decreed by their deities to authorized priests or daoshi. Ofuda (御札 or お札) or Shinpu (神符?) is a type of household amulet or talisman, issued by a Shinto shrine, hung in the house for protection, a gofu (護符?). It is made by inscribing the name of a kami and the name of the Shinto shrine or of a representative of the kami on a strip of paper, wood, cloth, or metal. It is to be renewed yearly, typically before the end of a year, and attached to a door, pillar, or ceiling. It may also be placed inside a private shrine (kamidana). The museum displays around 1000 of varieties of Shinpu/Shenfu from China, Vietnam, Japan and Thailand.

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Get in touch with the Museum



44 Nguyen Khuyen Street, An Cu Ward, Ninh Kieu District, 900 000 Can Tho City, Vietnam

Phone number

(+84) (0) 916416409