Antique Hand of Fatima – KHAMSA – HAMESH – Jewish – Fez, Morocco
19th century. Brass. Gr. 461,4 (16.28 oz.); cm. 17,0 high (6.69”) x cm. 12,5 width (4.92”).
This hand is the top piece of a lamp. For similar examples see “The Hand in Morocco”, by Khalid El Gharib, Malika Editions.
The KHAMSA hand (Arabic) or HAMESH hand (Hebrew) is and old and still popular apotropaic amulet for magical protection from the envious or evil eye. An alternative Islamic name for this charm is Hand of Fatima, in reference to the daughter of Mohammed. An alternative Jewish name for it is Hand of Miriam, in reference to the sister of Moses and Aaron.
There is good archaeological evidence to suggest that the downward-pointing protective HAMESH / KHAMSA and predates both Judaism and Islam and that it refers to ancient Middle Eastern goddless whose hand wards off the evil eye.
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