Yet another fascinating testimony to the journey of art, most likely along the silk route. This popular talisman is a beautiful example of damascene silver inlay on metal. The ornamentation is inspired by traditional Berber motifs and the mosaic of the Roman ruins at Volubilis. Perfected by Moroccan master craftsmen who, it is believed, historically learnt their craft from artisans in Damascus, Syria. The striking resemblance to Bidri work from North Karnataka, India, is equally fascinating and could possibly be traced to the exchange of art and ideas during those flourishing decades of trade.
The hamsa (also khamsa, meaning ‘five') is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa, commonly seen in jewellery and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand, it is believed to provide powerful protection against the evil eye. Also known as the Hand of Fatima, named after Muhammad's daughter Fatima Zahra. Following its incorporation into Jewish tradition via its widespread use in the Islamic world, it was renamed the Hand of Miriam, recalling Miriam, the sister of Moses.