The Hamsa Hand is a palm-shaped amulet popular in jewelry and wall hangings. Common throughout the Middle East as well as North Africa and believed to fend off the “evil eye”. It is depicted by the open right hand which is recognized as a sign of protection. Throughout history, it has also been theorized as the origins were associated with the goddess Tanit.
This amulet of ancient Middle Eastern has been symbolized as the Hand of God. In all faiths, this protective sign is believed to bring good fortune, good luck, happiness, and health to the owner. There are many spellings of the Hamsa Hand such as Chamsa, Hamesh, and Khamsa. It is also recognized as the Hand of Miriam, the sister of Aaron and Moses and is found in two main styles.
The Hamsa Hand Various Meanings and Shapes
One style is a regular hand shape and the other will have two thumbs, symmetrical in shape, which is the more popular of the two. The person that wears the Hamsa Hand may wear it with the face upward or downward. The belief is that brings the owner of its harmony, protection, and success.
The Hamsa Hand meaning has various interpretations which depend on which culture you study. Hamsa the word is derived from the 5 fingers on a hand and from the Hebrew culture, the number 5 is “hamesh”. The Hebrew fifth letter is “Hey” which is one of the holy names of God. “Hamesh” also represents the Torah’s five books and in Judaism, it is the Hand of Miriam.
It is thought to be the symbolic symbol of the 5 senses of the owner and is also praise to God. It is “khamesh” in Arabic while in the Sunni culture it is linked with the Five Pillars of Islam. It is a symbol of the Five People of the Cloak for the Shi'ites and for the Islamic faith, The Hand of Fatima, the Prophet Mohammed’s daughter.
In some instances, the Hamsa Hand includes an evil eye symbol and provides protection to those who wear it from the evil eye’s doing. This symbol is frequently worn on a necklace or found hanging on key chains, even in home decor.
An Ancient History
Today’s Iraq was once the area of ancient Mesopotamia. The early use of the Hamsa Hand is believed to have started in that region. It is here that many of the artifacts are found. The open right-hand image is considered by many to belong to the goddess Inanna or Ishtar. Other see this as a symbol of divine protection from the Hand-of-Venus, the Hand-of-Mary, protecting women of harm happening because of the evil eye.
During this time frame, the expectations of women were to become mothers. A woman was raised to become a mother herself. She was taught to take on the exclusive role of bearing children and that the men would protect them in marriage. The Hamsa Hand was believed to boost fertility and lactation, promoting healthy pregnancies. It is believed that strengthens the weak as well as protect and teach by the Buddha.