As dancers, we think of piling on the jewelry: bracelets, necklaces, earrings and the like, but wanting to also have balance and create a certain look. There is nothing like a flash of silver, or perhaps shell and leather at the throat of a tribal dancer that sets off a costume like no other adornment.
*Take Away: Think of jewelry as dowry pieces - Invest in the best you can afford.
There are so many choices out there, we will cover them in subsequent posts. In this first post of two parts we would like to address the amulet that seems to be worn the most: The Hamsa.
HAMSA: The traditional, Middle Eastern amulet
In the Jewish, Christian, Islamic or Pagan faiths - the hamsa is considered an amulet of protection bringing its owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune. Also known by the name Hand of Fatima or Hand of Miriam.
The hamsa is found in jewelry as well as on entry walls and as wall hangings to protect a house and its occupants.
Typical shape is a stylized hand with the fingers spread apart to ward off evil, or as closed together to bring good luck. Highly stylized versions may be difficult to recognize as a hand.
Popular belief is the hand is worn fingers up to ward off the evil eye. Fingers down as the hand of God bringing luck.
Authentic, beautiful North African amulets are to be treasured and truly complement a tribal costume. We can recommend resources we trust and purchase from, upon request.
Keep spinning adorned!
Paula DanceCraft September 2016
*All hamsas pictured come from private collections. Clockwise starting from the top left: 1. Khemisset necklace 2. Hamsa with star on carnelian 3. Berber hamsa with mixed metal 4. Stylized hamsa, mixed metal on turquoise 5. Stylized hamsa with chalcedony/lapis 6. Turkmen earrings with lapis 7. Moroccan hamsa