Origins

Talbe, pretre maure, ou marabout

The bolsas de mandinga that were found in Colonial Latin America originated within West Africa--most notably Guinea and Senegal. Mandingo (Mandinka) Muslim Marabous would create these powerful talismans as a way to ward off evil and protect oneself from harm. The contents found within these bolsas contained Islamic prayers and orations from the Holy Qur'an. Due to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, these talismans were also created and preserved within the Luso Atlantic world. With the growing influence of Catholicism within Portuguese colonies, the prayers within the bolsa mandinga shifted from Islamic ties to predominantly Christian ties.