The idea that the body can be distributed is central to beliefs in the effectiveness of relics. Even when part of the body is separated, a connection remains.
In Christian and other traditions a relic can be a fragment of a body or something associated with it, like clothing.
The Enlightenment made scientists saints, and scholars avidly started to collect their relics. Such fragments were as often the subject of experiment and analysis as they were of veneration.
Later, Victorians contained the memory of loved ones, living or dead, in ornaments incorporating locks of hair. In all these cases, the objects that are exchanged and cherished are both representations and traces – portraits as well as fragments.