With their hands, people hold the power to connect, the power to change, and the power to create. Hand gestures are part of a language that transcends barriers and boundaries—sometimes, a pat on the back, an extended hand, or the squeeze of two interlocked palms provide a meaning more profound than any verbal phrase can express.

You may have noticed a little gold hand, positioned for what looks like a high five (or the old school low five…) adorning the wrists of everyone from Madonna  to the proprietress at your local boutique. But this symbol, rooted in the ability of hands to deliver security and support, has a history much deeper and longer than the lifespan of a fashion trend.

It is believed that the use of the Hand of Protection, also known as Hamsa and the Hand of Fatima, originated at the time of the Phoenicians, thousands of years ago and over the years has evolved into a symbol of protection and security for many cultures. The amulet is said to provide its owner with health, happiness, and luck, as well as protection from the evil eye.  Because of this, the Hamsa is often depicted with an evil eye in the palm, as if it’s is catching or blocking the evil.

Amazing what even a little helping hand can do.

-Catherine Donovan

August 2012