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Whether or not you are familiar with African talismans, the Hamsa hand is one of the most widely recognisable indigenous symbols of good luck and prosperity in the West. An inherent part of the appeal of these pendants is the alleged protection they afford to the wearer from illness and disease. True Hamsa Pendants depict an open palm with a central eye, sometimes illustrated by a series of five circles (the fingers) and one larger circle containing the eye (the palm). Depictions of the five fingered hand enclosing the eye are thought to derive from the Arabic saying “khamsa fi ainek” loosely translated as “five fingers in your eye” or “blind the enemy with five fingers”. In modern culture, Hamsa Pendants are worn as charms on both bracelets and necklaces, however they were originally intended to be worn around the neck so the 'eye' could be seen by enemies. The indigenous Berber people of Morocco believe that if the enemy can see the eye, they will be rendered psychologically incapable of placing a curse upon the wearer. An open hand with the fingers spread apart connotes a hand ready to strike (to ward off the enemy), whereas if the fingers are closed together, this is interpreted as a symbol of good luck .The vast majority of Enamel Hamsa Pendants we carry at The Bead Chest are sourced from Berber regions in Southern Morocco; an area accredited with the discovery of the fascinating 'Niello' black enamelling technique at the turn of the 20th Century. Created by mixing sulphur and silver, Niello was traditionally used to illustrate the central eye of the talisman, however, is modernly combined with other colors for both Islamic and Jewish pendants.