Again, no time for a real post, but a quick collection of notes about saints, sacramentals, scapulars, relics, badges, and the essentially-untranslatable usually-South-American but sometimes-European item called a detente, which is often what gets called “scapular” on sites like ebay and pinterest. These are links to some Pinterest pins in which I comment on a few examples. If all goes well, I’ll elaborate with more examples when I’m caught up later this month (fingers, toes, etc. crossed, God willing and the creek don’t rise, etc.)
Sacred Heart and Mother of Sorrows – this one has the word “detente” on it even.
eBay seller called this Sacred Heart badge a “scapular” and a “second-class relic,” which is total rubbish since it’s neither, but it’s a beautiful piece.
Now this is actually a scapular.
Good example of handmade embroidered detente described inaccurately on eBay – I wish I’d captured the original seller notes since those are long gone and you can’t read what I’m responding to anymore.
Beautiful hand-embroidery on this scapular, and it IS a scapular.
Even reputable sellers can give you bad info on relics, which can get quite technical and complex.
Silly rabbit! Relics aren’t for kids! Bad Latin, no cookie for you!
I’d call this a badge, but you could make a case for detente (I’d want to see the whole piece, 3D, before I made my own call). It might be a relic – can’t tell from the photo. But it’s by no means a scapular.
I’ll eventually get around to posting some info and definitions, history, and descriptions, but not this week for sure. I’ll also eventually get around to finishing all my own examples I’ve started over the years, like the one below (which admittedly isn’t my fanciest — I made it very quickly as a gift so as not to hold up a package from shipping any longer than necessary). (And yes, many of mine merge elements of South American packet/package and bottle amulets — like the ones I make custom for clients — with elements of other sacred and religious folk art and sacramentals.)
front and back, (c) Karma Zain 2015
And here’s one in progress, below – as you can see, many of the ones I’ve previously made or am making combine traditional saints’ iconography and images with elements of that saint’s manifestation or portrayal in religions of the African diaspora, like the below piece that features elements of the vodou loa Ghuede / Gede and will have St. Gerard on the other side.
(c) 2015 Karma Zain
Look for the next post on how to win a custom handmade badge/detente for the saint or spirit of your choice.