Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lovely Hamsa

When I bought the pattern for Anne Hanson's Hamsa, I just liked the pattern and happened to have one skein of rose Sea Silk. I had no idea what a hamsa is or what it symbolizes.

The Hamsa (Arabic: خمسة, Khamsa‎, literally "five", Hebrew: חמסה, Khamsa‎) is a symbol used in amulets, charms and jewelry to protect against the "evil eye." [1]

An alternative Islamic name for this charm is the Hand of Fatima or Eye of Fatima, in reference to Fatima Zahra, the daughter of Muhammad. An alternative Jewish name is the Hand of Miriam, in reference to Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. It is a kind of "protecting hand" or "hand of God".

In recent years some activists for Middle East peace have chosen to wear the hamsa as a symbol of the similarities of origins and tradition between the Islamic and Jewish faiths. The fingers can point up or down.
- Wikipedia

If you google hamsa, you'll find many beautiful, inspiring, graceful ones. Here's a closeup of the scarf pattern, hands pointing down:

The pattern is beautifully-written and the chart just the right size to follow easily.


teabird said...

Oh, it's so beautiful! I bought the pattern, and I hope to have time to knit it in the fall for myself, and for a dear Muslim friend.

I am wearing a silver hamsa now - it's lovely, very plain, with a peace dove etched on it.


Margaret said...

That is so beautiful...and how approriate right now!