Vintage Berber Hamsa Pendant


Beautiful vintage Hamsa pendant.  This pendant is in the stylized shape of a hand, which has deep symbolic significance to Muslims, Jews, and even Christians. The word "Hamsa" literally means "five," representing the five fingers of the hand.  

The Berbers were originally a Jewish group, and then largely converted to Islam over the past several centuries.  For Muslims, the Hamsa is reminiscent of the Hand of Fatimah, the Prophet Muhammad's daughter.  For pre-Muslim Jewish Berbers, the design invokes the Hand of Miriam, who was the sister of Aaron and Moses of the Bible.  

The color of the enamel on this piece is the lovely, slightly-orangier, color, associated with older Moroccan Berber enamel jewelry.  The stone set in the middle is likely a dark red glass.  We think the bail was likely added later, but overall, it's a nice piece.  It measures 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches wide, and weighs 34.1 grams.  

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