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The hamsa is a Eastern Indian and Middle Eastern symbol dating back to prehistoric times designed to give protection from the evil eye, bad luck that results from the attention or jealousy of others. Today it shows up in Indian, Jewish and Muslim culture.

The hamsa consists of a hand, usually pointing fingers down with an eye in the middle. The hand usually, but not always, appears to have two thumbs. The eye is generally blue; a color which is also associated with protection from the evil eye. The entire symbol is often made of or covered with a material that is somewhat reflective to reflect back the evil.

The hamsa is intended to ward off evil, specifically the evil eye, by deflecting the malign force downward into the earth, as a lightning rod diverts electricity. According to one tradition, the five fingers of the hamsa represent our five limbs, arms, legs, and head, the power of the enlightened being. 


Hamsa Hand



The hamsa is usually worn as a charm or talisman, but also appears either directly painted on walls or as a plaque. Additionally, it is hung over doors and windows much like a horseshoe in Western folklore.

A nice site on cross-cultural examples of the eye in hand motif

An evil eye can see no good.

Danish Proverb


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