What’s a Hamsa? Beyond the Fashion Statement
After seeing hamsa jewelry snatched up in stores across Montreal, I grew curious as to what these delicate hand charms were all about. Whether they were on bracelets, earrings, or necklaces, it seemed people couldn’t get enough of the hamsa motif. So what was the draw? A little internet searching quickly answered my question of “What’s a hamsa?” Beyond being a unique and stylish fashion statement, the hamsa is an ancient symbol of unknown origins, but that has significance in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. In Islam, it’s called the Hand of Fatima, the daughter of the prophet Mohammed, while in Judaism, the hamsa is known as the Hand of Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. For certain Christians, it depicts the hand of the Virgin Mary.
The hamsa protects people from bad luck and misfortunes caused by the evil eye, which is why you’ll often find the evil eye depicted in the image’s palm. If the hamsa’s fingers are spread apart, it is saidto bring one protection, while if its fingers are close together, it brings good luck. That everyone could do with a little more protection and a spot of good luck in this crazy world is probably what has made the hamsa so popular. And one can only think that fashionistas flipping for this trend will sleep easier believing that they have a defense against the envious stares at their outfits!