Part of a silver necklace decorated with the 'hand of Fatimah', Palestine, 1800-1930
The ‘Hand of Fatimah’ (Fatima) is an ancient symbol traditionally carried by many Muslims as protection against the ‘evil eye’, a widespread belief that some people can cause harm to others simply by looking at them in a certain way. This ‘look’ may be given deliberately, in an attempt to cause harm, or accidentally, perhaps because of feelings of envy . Fatimah was the daughter of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. The hand is a common symbol in Islamic jewellery, art and decoration. It is also said to give the wearer strength, protect their family and ensure fertility.
Related Themes and Topics
Techniques and Technologies:
Ornaments worn around the neck, usually in the form of chains or strands of beads, pearls, stones, or the like, and often including a suspended ornamental pendant. Use "chokers" for short, narrow necklaces worn close to the throat. Use "dog collars (necklaces)" for wide ornamental bands worn tightly around the neck.
Small object or piece of jewellery worn as a protecting charm to ward off ill health and bad luck.
Glossary: evil eye
A manifestation of magic, commonly regarded as a curse which may result in bad luck, illness or even death. It has a place in many different cultures.