What Is a Hamsa? Everything You Need To Know

What Is a Hamsa? Everything You Need To Know

We encounter many symbols in everyday jewelry, art, and modern design, but do we know where they originated? Whether it's the evil eye that so many people wear in their jewelry or the cross pattern that you can find in so many people's home décor and clothes, it's essential to appreciate these symbols.

Today, we'll talk about one symbol in particular: the Hamsa. This design has been around for thousands of years, making it an incredibly intriguing character to discover. Let's get into the Hamsa's unique design, its religious roots, and how you can gain inspiration while wearing it with your favorite chains.

What Is a Hamsa? 

A Hamsa is an infamous image of a hand with fingers close together. There are two thumbs on either side of the hand in some renditions, making the design completely symmetrical. The name comes from the Arabic word for "five" to represent the five fingers.

Typically, versions of the Hamsa include detailed dot work surrounding the hand's perimeter with flourish elements decorating the fingers in a symmetrical pattern. One more element also graces the Hamsa: an eye in the center of the palm.

It Has Historic Roots From Multiple Backgrounds 

You might be wondering where this design first originated since it's been around for thousands of years. Many people believe this symbol predates religion, but several religions later adopted its use for their practices and beliefs.

Scholars' best bet is that the Hamsa originated from the provinces of Mesopotamia and Carthage. They think the design was employed as an amulet to resist the famous evil eye in those days. Geographically, it spread to become a worldwide renowned image, and today, it's well known as a good luck charm.

It's Associated with Several Major Religions 

As we mentioned, several major religions have since incorporated the Hamsa image into their beliefs. Of those, primarily Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism revere this symbol most.

Within the Islamic tradition, the Hamsa connects with the prophet Muhammed, known as the Hand of Fatima, his daughter. To the Islamic people, the Hamsa represents courage, bravery, and defense. 

Within Judaism, the moment when hamsas arose in culture is difficult to determine, though most would classify this as a Sephardic sign. Jewish people might have employed Hamsa to call upon God's hand or oppose the Evil Eye with the eye embedded in the palm.

Within Buddist and Hindu faiths, symbols like the Hamsa typically associate with the chakras (energy centers that run down the spine), the energy that travels between these centers, and specific hand motions to redirect energy.

Alternate Names for This Symbol 

This design is most commonly known as a Hamsa, but there are a few other names that describe this ancient symbol:

  • Hamsa –  This is the most well-known transcription of the Arabic word "Jamsa" or "Khamsah," which means "five."
  • Hand of God –  This general name describes the symbol without assigning it to a particular religion or tradition.
  • Hand of Fatima –  This name recognizes Fatima, the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammed.
  • Hand of Miriam –  The Jewish faith uses this word to remember Miriam, the sister of Aaron and Moses.
  • Hand of Mother Mary – Some Christians may refer to this symbol to recognize Mary, the mother of Jesus.
  • Hamesh – This is a straightforward name meaning "five" in Hebrew.

The Hamsa Is a Symbol of Fortune Facing Downward 

Did you know the Hamsa can have different meanings depending on its position? When facing downward, this ancient image symbolizes wealth. A downturned Hamsa indicates abundance and prosperity, welcoming blessings and fertility into a person's life. In general, the Hamsa fingers stay closed when the hand is facing this direction.

The Hamsa Protects Against Evil Facing Upward 

When the Hamsa faces upward, this image takes on a different meaning. While a downward position reflects blessing and goodwill, an upward Hamsa symbolizes protection. Facing up, the Hamsa acts as a Talisman, warding off evil energy and negative thoughts. 

Each Finger Holds Unique Meaning

You might have noticed that this image is highly symbolic, from its origins and history to its name and position. One more interesting fact to explore within Hamsa symbolism is that each finger represents something different according to different faiths.

Let's explore this last nugget of symbolism before we talk about the Hamsa jewelry you can wear.

  • Thumb: In Hinduism and Buddhism, this finger represents the solar plexus chakra and the element of fire. 
  • Pointer: This finger signifies the heart chakra and air. 
  • Middle Finger: The throat chakra and other ethereal elements characterize this finger's significance. 
  • Ring Finger: This connects to the root chakra and earth element in Buddhist and Hindu traditions.
  • Little Finger: This finger connects with the sacral chakra and the element of water.

It's also crucial to note that the five fingers represent the five pillars of their faith within Islamic tradition. These pillars are Faith, Prayer, Alms, Fasting, and Pilgrimage.

Our CRAFTD Hamsa Pendant 

The Hamsa might have been a random symbol to you before, but we hope you're able to sincerely appreciate the rich culture connected to it now. If you've found inspiration in learning about this design, you might consider adding it to your jewelry collection. 

Our CRAFTD Hamsa Pendant is a perfect accessory for a multicultural person. In 18-karat plated gold or stainless steel, this pendant is a go-to when you want to wear something singular and classy. 

Ways To Style the Hamsa Pendant

Layering pendants with chains is a brilliant way to unlock your potential on your personal style journey.

Here are three ideas for how you can knock this layered look out of the park:

  1. Wear it with a Connell chain: Try pairing your Hamsa pendant with a classic Connell chain. In a slim size, this chain is the blueprint for staple jewelry. Wear the two together for a look that's effortless. 
  2. Try pairing it with a set of layered chains: If you thought layering a pendant with one chain was a good move, imagine how exciting multiple layered chains can look. Try wearing your Hamsa pendant with a Cuban chain and a Figaro chain on your next weekend trip.
  3. Accent your pendant with another statement piece:  Adding a Hamsa to your streetwear jewelry is an excellent move. You can go even bolder when you pair your pendant with a CRAFTD statement ring that shows off the fullness of your essence. 

Other Symbolic CRAFTD Pendants To Enhance Your Style 

Perhaps you enjoy enriching your style with pieces that honor many cultures. If that's the case, we've got several other pendants you'll love. 

The CRAFTD St. Christopher Pendant 

Our CRAFTD St. Christopher Pendant honors the Christian tradition of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. This pendant not only looks great when layered with chains, but it can be a reminder that someone's always watching over you on your journey.

The CRAFTD Ankh Pendant 

Our Ankh Pendant is inspired by the Egyptian hieroglyphic for the word "life." It's an ancient symbol that can encourage you to take the reins on your journey. You can display this ideal to the world by wearing it on a pendant to inspire others, too. It's time to live a relentless life. 

The CRAFTD Happiness Pendant 

Here's another pendant that can represent your lifestyle. Our CRAFTD Happiness Pendant features the Chinese symbol for "happiness." Wear this piece alone or with others to remind yourself to aim for the decisions that lead to fulfillment. Select 18-karat plated gold or stainless steel to customize this piece to fit your vibe.

You Can Wear Your CRAFTD Hamsa Always

We've all had a terrible experience with inferior jewelry before. Let's say you bought a particular piece, then put it on to enjoy its design. You might have spent a day or two admiring it until you looked in the mirror. Then, you noticed your skin turning green and your jewelry beginning to lose its color.

What if we told you that you could avoid that experience altogether? At CRAFTD, we're passionate about getting premium jewelry into your hands. When you trust us to furnish your jewelry collection, you can trust that your pieces won't tarnish, discolor or fade. Our name is the promise that your jewelry is #CRAFTDtolast. 

Making History 

We've got massive respect for the Hamsa symbol as a historic picture of prosperity and protection from negative energy. If you've become captivated by this ancient design, show it off with jewelry that represents what you love. At CRAFTD, we're thrilled to provide excellent quality chains, pendants, and other jewelry to help you put your passions on display and look good doing it.

 

Sources:

What Is A Hamsa? | My Jewish Learning

The True Meaning of the Hamsa Hand | Symbol Sage

Hamsa hand Islamic symbol | Symbol Ikon

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