Sunday, January 26, 2014
A thoughtful gift for my Jewish friends
It's a "hamsa"...More...... ...(yes...it's also in the Muslim tradition, where it's called "the hand of Fatima"), and it's a sign to ward off the evil eye.
I think that the twining pattern must have come from the henna designs some cultures find beautiful on women's hands (I saw some being done in a predominantly Hindu area of India, so it's not just Muslim). (Why they relished it on women's hands is a whole other story...I think it has to do with something that prevents doing menial work with your hands--otherwise, it would wash off, right?!--and so was a sign of wealth and maybe even social class.)
I looked up on the internet to see some versions, created an outline, the Star of David in the pupil shape in the palm of the hand (there were lots of variations in the internet), and the twining and coloring in my marvelous StitchPainter program. The thing is rather small, though, about 3/4 the size of my hand, so when it came down to actually stitching the twining and little colored buds, I just kind of went with the flow, which was relaxing, too.
I pictured it in a certain spot in their house, but whether they decide to put it there, somewhere else, or in a closet will be up to them.
It was done with the heart, and I think it came out nicely.
What do you think?
Gotta put it in the frame, soon, in case I get a chance to see them, and give it to them.
P.S., I just realized that I'm getting around to scanning it, writing to you about it, and actually getting out the frame (and maybe even framing it) on the weekend of Memory, and I'm actually going to the Holocaust Memorial in Milan, Italy, this afternoon. Warding off the Evil Eye seems to me appropriate, and I hope my Jewish friends and readers won't think it too banal for such a serious day.