What item in the housekeeper’s necklace kept soul from wondering the earth?

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Payal Khullar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We are referring to Johnna in this question, who is appointed by Mr. Beverly Weston as the housekeeper as well as the caretaker of his wife Violet in Tracy Letts’ play August: Osage County. Johnna is actually a Native American, who carries some old, ancestral beliefs. A part of this tradition is her turtle necklace, which is not just an ordinary piece of jewellery but is a talisman that represents something. Jean notices this necklace and she asks Johnna of the significance of it. According to Johnna, the necklace has a small pouch containing her own “umbilical chord” in it, which will keep the soul from wandering the Earth after her death.

…because if we lose it, our soul belongs nowhere and after we die, our souls wander around the Earth looking for where we belong.