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Art Show: Lessons, Icons, & Figures: Elements of World Mythology

Hamsa

by Rossanna Nagli

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Art: Hamsa by Artist Rossanna Nagli
In popular use for over fifteen hundred years, the Hamsa (Chamsa), from the Semitic root meaning five, is a representation of the protective hand of God. Hand amulets are common in many cultures as talismans to ward off the evil eye and appropriately many Hamsas have a single eye embedded in the center of the palm to depict God’s watchful presence. This ancient symbol is used as a protective amulet by both Jews and Muslims. It is usually worn around the neck or hung on walls or over doors.

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