Hand Amulet; Hand of Fatima metal, red glass cabuchon, enamel

Hand pendant, about 1850

Unknown artist, expand_more

The hand motif as a sign of protection, widespread in northern Africa even today, dates back to ancient Mesopotamia. In Arab cultures, it is popularly called the “Hand of Fatima,” after the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, while Jews in the Maghreb call it khamsa, from “five” in Arabic. The hand is believed to deflect the negative energy of the evil eye.

Details
Title
Hand pendant
Role
Artist
Accession Number
91.141.17
Curator Approved

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Hand Amulet; Hand of Fatima metal, red glass cabuchon, enamel