The Hamsa hand is an ancient Middle Eastern symbol of an eye superimposed on a hand and represents the Hand of God. It acts as symbolic protection against the evil eye and helps to safeguard happiness and good fortune for the wearer.
Many ancient cultures and faiths believe that it is possible for evil people to place curses on others just by looking at them. This type of curse is called the evil eye.
The Hamsa hand idea began in the form of hand gestures meant to ward off the evil eye, but warding has since evolved into symbols like the Hamsa being incorporated into tattoos, amulets, protective jewelry and even household figurines.
As is the case with many protective tattoo totems – even as recent as early American Traditional sailor tattoos of the 1940s – by utilizing the symbol of bad luck, in this case the evil eye, it is thought that bad luck would recognize it’s symbol within and pass over the wearer untouched.
Read on for some superb examples of the Hamsa ancient symbol to take with you for your next tattoo adventure.
1. Color Hamsa Symbol Ideas
I love the versatility in these Hamsa design ideas. Whether incorporating a realistic eye, watercolor tattoo style of paint imagery, or single-color single needle work, these Hamsa tattoos show cool displays of technical application.
Combining the spiritual meaning of the Turkish Nazar evil eye in vivid blue ink within a black and gray Fatima tattoo is superb, as is the wicked neo traditional ink warding against bad luck uniting a combination of Western and Middle Eastern philosophies.
2. Linework Hamsa Hand Tattoo Design
A tattoo artist can apply some great linework applications without overdoing the Hamsa tattoo design. These offerings utilize cool geometric linework for internal line patterns or shape set ups, while others operate in keeping with the more traditional henna style principles of flowing tattoo paint which are popular in the Middle East and Subcontinent.
I also like the mix with traditional tattoo concepts – rose tattoo, tribal hatchwork – within the framing shape of the Hamsa hand.
3. Heavy Black Ink Hamsa Hand Tattoo
These Hamsa tattoo ideas use the same principles as the linework designs above, just in a bolder, fatter inky black style of depiction. Where the linework offers delicate lines, and subtle if any shading, these ink examples go hard with deep saturation and forceful use of black ink opposing negative space concepts.
4. Hamsa Forearm Tattoo Designs
A forearm tattoo is a sound position to place a Hamsa symbol. It’s always within eyesight or a fingers’ touch should you wish for your good luck to be ‘close by’ and tangible. The forearm also gives you the opportunity to cover or display your intricate spiritual meaning tattoo depending on the situation.
One example even deploys the Penrose Tribar (or impossible triangle) within its Hamsa. The tribar is an optical illusion which can be depicted as a drawing but can’t be reproduced in reality. Hamsa hand tattoos often incorporate secondary symbols within the tattoo that add another layer of meaning to the wearer.
5. Intricate Hamsa Ink Inspiration
Each tattoo artist etching these Hamsa tattoo designs would’ve hopefully received a hefty tip. The intricacy of the small tattoos patterning is laser precise, while others offer 3D depth, geometric shaping, or optical illusion to the design template. The realistic eye portrayals are awesome spot on, right down to the eye’s moisture and lashes.
Being able to incorporate the Eye of Providence into a Hamsa tattoo along with the symbolism the background skull entails is a superb display of conceptual tattooing and would be quite the conversation point between tattoo enthusiasts.
6. Hamsa Arm Tattoo
These arm tattoo designs again use other influential Eastern motifs, whether it’s the mandala tattoo developed and shaded from within the hand idea or a centralized Om.
Other arm tattoos feature more Western symbology such as the Christian cross, contemporary Astrological symbols, and even the bad ass lower half of a skull linked with a wet circular eyeball.
7. Chest Hamsa Evil Eye Tattoo
There’s great range in these different approaches to chest Hamsa design. The first rocks a full upper body piece focused on the display of Eastern symbols such as the Hamsa, unalome, and Om, all tied together with an almost watercolor tattoo application of color.
Others opt for symmetry and in a central chest Hamsa defined by geometric flourishes, or singular detailed Hamsa tattoo on either side of the chest. I also liked the concept of the wise owl with the Hamsa hand symbol clutched in its talons.
8. Back Hamsa Tattoo Body Art
Again, Eastern symbols and themes dominate these impressive Hamsa back tattoos, whether it’s a lotus flower tattoo design in support, or an intricate linework and delicate shading piece reminiscent of the shapes, swirls, and droplets common to henna practice.
The centralized elephant head is wickedly etched in tribute to the Hindu God Lord Ganesha, utilizing heftier black ink line work against the negative space of trunk and head that stands out in small tattoos design
9. Side Hamsa Symbolism
The Hamsa tattoo meaning isn’t lost if the wearer opts to choose a more unique position. The general length of the Hamsa tattoo design idea works for placement in a side tattoo, despite it being an uncomfortable area tattoo.
I love the artist’s choice to deploy a single green/hazel tint to the eye in an otherwise well worked black and gray piece.
10. Leg Hamsa Talisman Tattoo Art
Some Eastern style tattoos – the Buddha for example – needs culture awareness in delivery, as inking too low on the body could be considered offensive. These designs suggest that’s not the case with a Hamsa tattoo, with some designs going as low as the calf muscle.
11. Uniquely Placed Hamsa Evil Eye Tattoo
This final group of Hamsa images shows the development of tattoo design regarding placement and the incorporation of ideas. Areas such as the head, foot, and hand were taboo areas – and a woman getting symbolic art such as this was 20-30 years ago – but the impact of visible tattoo designs are lessening now that they’re being used more and stereotypes are being broken down. I also like the unique idea of a matching Hamsa idea between couples.
Hamsa Tattoo FAQs
What does a Hamsa tattoo idea mean?
The Hamsa Hand is an ancient Middle Eastern amulet symbolizing the Hand of God. In all faiths it is a protective sign designed to bring its owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune.
The word Hamsa is derived from the five fingers on the hand, and despite being a universal symbol of protection against the evil eye it’s meaning can be slightly different depending on the part of the Middle East you are in.
In Hebrew, the number five is hamesh – representative of the five books of the Torah.
Generally, within the Islamic faith, the hamsa hand symbolizes The Hand of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. In Arabic, it is khamesh. In the Sunni sect of Islam, the hamsa is associated with the Five Pillars of Islam. For the Shi’tes, it symbolizes the Five People of the Cloak.
With its close relationship to Middle Eastern religion the Hamsa Hand is often used as a temporary tattoo in the form of henna paint application on the hands. This design is also spreading to stencil temporary tattoo application instructions along with other Eastern concepts such as the Om, unalome, and Enso symbols.
Should the Hamsa tattoo be placed facing up or down?
The wearer of the Hamsa hand can wear it facing up or down and it is believed to give the owner protection from the Ayin Ha’ra, or The Evil Eye.
The hand can be worn with the fingers either facing up or down and is different depending on which way the fingers face. When worn facing down, the Hamsa lets in more positivity, good fortune, and plenty into your life.
When the hand is worn facing up, the Hamsa mirrors the traditional warding symbol from ancient civilizations and is a more potent, powerful symbol of protection against negativity and the Evil Eye.
The Hamsa hand has two main styles. One style looks like a normal human hand, while the other design is created using two symmetrical thumbs. The second of the two design styles tend to be more popular when applying the ancient symbol to tattoos.
Can you get an evil eye tattoo?
The eye is the most popular symbol inside a Hamsa, as superstition holds that warding symbols containing the element of bad luck within its design will prompt misfortune to pass by, thinking that it is already in possession of the wearer.
Other interpretations suggest that by wearing the evil eye tattoo, the wearer can bounce the bad luck and aggression back at the caster. The center of a Hamsa design is often filled with more imagery designed to represent specific meaning.
Other evil eye tattoos may resemble a Turkish Nazar, which is an eye made of blue and white concentric circles. Variations on these Nazar and Hamsa symbols are found across all major faiths, but the warding symbol is not religious itself.
The Hamsa tattoo amulet is awesome, but there are plenty of talisman ideas from ancient cultures that are just as cool as a Hamsa tattoo meaning. Click on the links below for more killer galleries: