the hamsa (Arabic: خمسة khomsah, also romanised khamsa, meaning literally “five”) is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout North Africa, and commonly used in jewellery and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognised and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history, the hamsa represents blessings, power, and strength, and is seen as potent in deflecting the evil eye. It is also known as the hand of Fatima, so named to commemorate Muhammad’s daughter Fatima Zahra. Levantine Christians call it the hand of Mary, for the mother of Jesus. Following its incorporation into Jewish tradition via its widespread use in the Islamic world, it was also renamed the hand of Miriam for Miriam, sister of Moses.