Healing hand amulets are used by Lao herbalists, curers and shamans .
The amulets are made with ceramic and quartzite stones from the Mekong River into a hand and used by a healer who places it on a painful area to assist in a cure. They are also carred by an individual as they are believed to have protective powers.
The herbalist or shaman selects river-washed quartzite stones from the Mekong River found on sandbars in the dry season when the water level is down. The hands themselves are sculpted by hand, not molded, from clay mixed with sand to make a stoneware ceramic that is quite strong. Tiny quartzite river pebbles are sometimes used for the realistic looking fingernails and are natural shapes, not carved