The Idol of the Broken Ear is an idol which appears in The Broken Ear.
The Idol of the Broken Ear was an artifact venerated for the deity, spirit or daemon that it embodied or represented by its constructors, the Arumbayas. The idol was given by the Arumbayas to A.J. Walker as a gift upon the conclusion of his study of their ways of life. Unknown to Walker, his guide Lopez had stolen the Heart of the Jungle gemstone and hidden it inside the Idol. Upon learning of this, the Arumbayas pursued Walker's party, which resulted in Lopez's abandonment of the idol. As a result, Walker retained posession of the idol and brought it back to Europe with him.For many decades the idol was housed in the Museum of Ethnography in Brussels until it was stolen by Rodrigo Tortilla (or Lopez in the TV episode), who came in pursuit of the gemstone hidden within the idol. Tintin pursued the idol to San Theodoros, where he regained the idol onboard the Ville de Lyon. However, he noticed the idol's ear was not broken, as it should have been, and therefore it was a fake. He was not to learn of the gem that was inside the idol until he encountered the Arumbayas and was told the story by Ridgewell. After arriving back in Europe Tintin discovered that the real idol had been in Europe the entire time and had been in the posession of Simon Balthazar.
Balthazar had sold the real idol to Samuel Goldbarr just before Tintin discovered this. In pursuit of the gem inside the idol, Ramon Bada, Alonso Perez and Tintin followed Goldbarr onto the ship he was sailing on, the S.S. Washington. Following a confrontation between Tintin and the two, the idol broke at the neck and the gem fell overboard and sank into the Atlantic Ocean. Goldbarr was informed of the idol's history and he asked Tintin to return it to the museum. The idol was then repaired and put back on display in the same place that it had rested before it was stolen.
In the original versions of The Broken Ear, the Arumbuyan idol was referred to as the "fetish." This has changed in more modern versions of the work because of the sexual connotations that the word "fetish" now has. It is instead replaced with the term "idol."