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Hamsa with Evil Eye Mother of Pearl Copper Pendant # 55 - 2
- Hamsa with Evil Eye Mother of Pearl Copper Pendant # 55 - 2
- Measures approx.: 2"L x 1.4"W x 0.5"T
- The Hand (Hamsa/ Khamsa), particularly the open right hand, is a sign of protection that also represents blessings, power and strength, and is seen as potent in Deflecting the Evil Eye.
- The Hamsa is also painted on the walls of houses for protection, or painted or hung on the doorways of rooms, such as those of an Expectant Mother or New Baby.
- The Hamsa Hand can be depicted with the fingers spread apart to Ward Off Evil, or as closed together to Bring Good Luck.
- Similarly, it can be portrayed with the fingers pointing up in Warding, or down to Bestow Blessings.
- Used to protect against Evil Eye, a Malicious Stare believed to be able to cause illness, death or just general unluckiness, Hamsas often contain an eye symbol.
- Depictions of the Hand, the Eye or the Number Five in Arabic (and Berber) tradition are related to warding off the Evil Eye, as exemplified in the saying "Khamsa fi ainek" ("Five [Fingers] in your Eye").
- Raising one's right hand with the palm showing and the fingers slightly apart is part of this curse meant "to Blind the Aggressor".
- Another formula uttered against the evil eye in Arabic, but without hand gestures, is Khamsa Wa-Khamis ("Five and Thursday"). As the fifth day of the week, Thursday is considered a good day for magic rites and pilgrimages to the Tombs of Revered Saints to counteract the effects of the Evil Eye.
- Due to its significance in both Arabic and Berber culture, the Hamsa is one of the national symbols of Algeria and appears in its emblem. It is also the most popular among the different amulets (such as the Eye and the Hirz—a silver box containing verses of the Quran) for warding off the Evil Eye in Egypt. Egyptian women who live in Baladi ("traditional") urban quarters, often make Khamaysa, which are amulets made up of Five (Khamsa) objects to attach to their children's hair or black aprons. The five objects can be made of peppers, hands, circles or stars hanging from hooks.
- Although significant in Arabic and Berber culture, the Jewish Peoples have long interpreted and adopted the symbol of the Hand with great importance since the Ten Commandments. A portion of these commandments state that "Lord took Israel out of Egypt with a Strong Hand and an Outstretched Arm".
The "strong hand" is representative of the Hamsa which rooted its relevance in the Community then. The Helping Hand exemplified God's willingness to help his People and direct them out of struggle.
- Around the time of the Byzantine period, artists would depict God's Hand reaching from up above. God's Hand from Heaven would lead the Jewish People out of struggle, and the Jews quickly made a connection with the Hamsa and their Culture. The Hand was identified in Jewish text, and acquired as an influential icon throughout the Community.
- In Jewish Faiths, the Hamsa represents the Hand of God and is known as ‘The Hand of Miriam’. Miriam was the virtuous Sister to Moses (who led the Israelites out of Egypt) and Aron (who became the first High Priest). Miriam’s honourable life led her to becoming a symbol of great protection and luck.
Hamsa is also the hebrew word for five, and while some believe this represents the Five Fingers on the Talisman, others say this symbolises the Five Books of the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
- In Muslim Culture, the Hamsa is known as ‘The Hand of Fatima’. Fatima Al Zahra was the Daughter of the Prophet Muhammad and his first Wife, Khadija. ‘Al Zahra’ is said to mean The Shining One. As Fatima is seen as pure and without sin, The Hand of Fatima is considered a symbol of protection, power and strength.
- The Hand of Fatima also symbolises the Five Pillars of Islam: Faith, Prayer, Pilgrimage, Fasting and Charity. Muslim Communities also refer to the Hamsa as ‘Khamsa’, the Arabic word for five.