Amuletic pendant, Hands of Fatima

Made:
1801-1925
maker:
Unknown

Amuletic pendant, pair of flat brass "hands of Fatima" on suspension ring, possibly European, 1801-1925

The ‘Hand of Fatimah’ (Fatima) is an ancient symbol traditionally carried by many Muslims as protection against the ‘evil eye’, a widespread belief that some people can cause harm to others simply by looking at them in a certain way. This ‘look’ may be given deliberately, in an attempt to cause harm, or accidentally, perhaps because of feelings of envy .

Fatimah was the daughter of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. The hand is a common symbol in Islamic jewellery, art and decoration. It is also said to give the wearer strength, protect their family and ensure fertility.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A78645
type:
pendant
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • costume
  • jewellery
credit:
Loan, Wellcome Trust

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