Hamsa

Linda Ursin

Soknedal, Norway

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Artist's Description

The eighteenth symbol is a version of the Hamsa. It’s a palm-shaped amulet used by Muslims and Jews throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It shows the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many cultures and is believed to work as a defense against the evil eye but also represents blessings, power and strength. It’s seen as a bearer of good fortune among Christians in the region as well. It’s believed to have originated in Punic Carthage, modern-day Tunisia, and was associated with the Goddess Tanit. As Westerners might use the phrase “knock on wood” or “touch wood”, a common expression in Israel is “Hamsa, Hamsa, Hamsa, tfu, tfu, tfu”, to spit out bad luck. The background texture was created by blending, blotting and splattering colors.

Who do you think of when you read this? Maybe a police officer or firefighter?

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