Moroccan Judaica Fish Amulet Hamsa from Essaouira circa 1950 -1

$ 445.00

  • Moroccan Judaica Fish Amulet Hamsa from Essaouira circa 1950 -1
  • Size Approx. 3 3/4" x 2"
  • Material: This style of Hamsa originated in Essaouira and was most popular from the early to mid 20th century. This example was purchased by a collector during the 1950's and later acquired by Beads of Paradise NYC. The "base" Hamsa pendant is usually etched and stamped, sometimes cast 80% or higher silver content. The added symbols, like the secondary Star of David or Seal of Solomon, the Fish (symbol of Abundance and Prosperity) and dangling Hamsa Charms are sometimes soldered or pinned into place on the base Hamsa. The charms and added Star and Fish symbols are usually 92.5% Sterling Silver to 95% Fine Silver content.
  • The Hamsa hand is known by many names - Hamsa, Hamesh, Khamsa, and Chamsa. There are two main styles of a Hamsa hand: the most popular is the stylized hamsa hand with two symmetrical thumbs, but there are also Hamsa hands that are not symmetrical and shaped like actual hands.
  • Either hamsa hand can be worn with the fingers pointing up or down, and both are believed to offer its owner happiness, peace, and prosperity, as well as protection from the Ayin Ha'ra, or the Evil Eye. 
  • In Jewish Religion, the Hamsa symbolizes the Hand of Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. In the Islamic Faith, the Hamsa hand symbolizes The Hand of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Mohammed.
  • Although the Hamsa hand has been symbolic in Islam and Judaism for centuries, archeological digs in the Middle East provide evidence that the Hamsa pre-dates these religions and originated with the Phoenicians and was used as a protective symbol for an ancient Middle Eastern Goddess named Tanit. The Hamsa hand has always been associated with a female entity offering protection from evil and misfortune.
  • The word "Hamsa" or "Hamesh" means Five. There are five digits on the Hamsa hand, but the number Five has additional symbolic meaning in the Jewish and Islamic traditions. Five (Hamesh in Hebrew) represents the Five Books of the Torah for Jews. It also symbolizes the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, "Heh", which represents one of God's Holy Names. It symbolizes the Five Pillars of Islam for Sunnis, and the Five People of the Cloak for Shi'ites.
  • Many Jews believe that the five fingers of the Hamsa hand remind its wearer to use their five senses to praise God. Hamsa hands often contain an Eye Symbol, which is a powerful talisman against the Evil Eye. 
  • Origin is Essaouira, Morocco