3000 – Snake Skin: Piece of snake skin

Physical description:
One complete section of snake skin, probably python.
Museum classification:
Spells and Charms
18 cm x 12 cm

Found in a box containing objects mainly relating to African magic ('Witch-Doctor. Mau-Mau. Sundry Items.') Cecil Williamson wrote an interpretation card which may have accompanied this item:

"Snakes' skins as well as snake bone necklaces are always treasured by west country witches. In the case of snakes' skins these are used to wrap around the afflicted part while so doing a charm is recited or chanted. The skin is left in place for a while and then removed. Funny thing, it always seems to do the trick. From Tavistock." CWOLC (Cecil Williamson Object Label Catalogue) 7091.

This item may also relate to another item catalogued at 365 (lost in the 2004 flood). Given that it is python skin this object is more likely to be part of an African charm, and was possibly displayed in Williamson's Mau-Mau Exhibition.

Snake skin