The Hamsa Hand Symbol - It's History and Use in Jewelry and Art

The eye-in-hand symbol is an ancient version of a charm to protect the wearer from evil. Today it is often seen as an Arabic or Jewish symbol, called a Hamsa (or Khamsa) but it was also used in many different cultures from the Ancient world. The eye-in-hand symbol was used in jewelry as well as in art works, in plaques and other decorations. One explanation of it's symbolism is that the five fingers can be used to blind anyone with evil intent towards the wearer.

Origins of the Hamsa Hand Symbol

In the Ancient world it is thought to have been used by the Phoencians as a symbol of the goddess Tanit, a patron of Carthage, although other sources suggest it originated as a Hindu symbol of a god or goddess.

Hennaed Hamsa by wiccked
Hennaed Hamsa by wiccked

The Hamsa in Modern Religions

In Judaism the Hamsa is worn as a protection against evil and is also called the Hand of Miriam, a reference to Miriam who was a sister of Aaron and Moses. It is used in wall decorations or worn as an amulet.

The Hamsa is also a symbol of Islamic people, who use it in decorative works. They call it the Hand of Fatima, after Muhammad's daughter Fatima Zahra and the symbol may represent the Five Pillars of Islam. Some young Jewish and Arabic people wear the Hamsa as a symbol for peace between their two peoples as the symbol is present in the belief systems of both.

Shop in the old part of Belgrade called Vracar, with the Khamsa/Hamsa (Hand of Fatima) near the door by Perecca
Shop in the old part of Belgrade called Vracar, with the Khamsa/Hamsa (Hand of Fatima) near the door by Perecca

Hamsa Hand Designs

Different designs of the eye-in-hand symbol are seen including a design with the eye in the centre of a four fingered hand with a thumb present, a design where only the fingers are shown and a symmetrical design that depicts a three fingered hand with two thumbs. In addition the fingers may be represented pointing both up and down.

There is a wide range of Hamsa Hand jewelry available today in gold silver, glass and other materials. You can find necklaces, pendants and keychains all with the lovely eye-in-hand symbol.

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Comments 4 comments

birthstonejewelry 7 years ago

First time I've seen or read about that symbol. Great Read.

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charmstotreasure 6 years ago

Beautiful! Nice info hub, thanks!

jewellery cahnnel 6 years ago

the Hamsa Hand concept is so unique and fantastic..

thanks joyrb...

Gary Hsu 9 months ago from United States

Worth read. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge hub! Hamsa jewelry has its own unique importance and effect on one’s life and it is widely accepted by many families for protection against evil. The Hamsa Jewelry is now can be purchase online and has come in varied colors & designs.

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