Monday, May 28, 2018

So Long 'Evil Eye': Jerusalem's Islamic Art Museum showcases the 'Hamsa'

By Maya Margit
New exhibit at Jerusalem's Museum for Islamic Art showcases the evolution of the palm-shaped "Hamsa," which is believed to ward off the "evil eye" while bringing good fortune.
JERSUALEM---A new exhibition in Israel takes a modern look at one of the world’s most ancient symbols: the hamsa. Five hundred and fifty-five palm-shaped amulets from a wide variety of artists are on display at the Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem, part of the Hamsa, Hamsa, Hamsa show devoted to exploring the rich history and cultural evolution of the Middle East and North African motif. Commonly used in jewelry or other decorative items, Jews, Christians and Muslims to this day wear or carry Hamsas to ward off the “evil eye.” In Israel, the hamsa previously was associated with Mizrahi Jews, who immigrated in large numbers to the state from neighboring countries in the 1950s. [More]