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Kuchi jewelry brings us a piece of traditional nomadic culture from the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan with its rough and antique appearance.

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The Pashtoon tribe, one of the largest ethnic groups in Afghanistan, have worn Kuchi jewelry as a way to embody the constant motion of the tribe itself; moving down the mountains for the winter, and back up the mountains for the summer. The word “Kuchi” is a Persian word which, when translated, means “migration,” and is viewed by the Pashtoon culutre as a state of being rather than a temporary necessity.

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Though there is no true written history of the tribe within the borders of their land, Kuchi jewelry stands as a statement of the Pashtoon culture and lifestyle, and brings a unique vairety to jewelry as a genre. Come into Nomad and take a look at our Kuchi rings, pendants, earrings, and necklaces, and surround your self with movement and beauty, too!

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Have you ever wandered around Nomad and picked up one of these little amulets? Maybe you wondered what it meant, but never quite figured it out. This is called a Khamse (pronounced HUM-SAH).

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 In Arabic, the word Khamse means “five” which refers to the five fingers on the hand. In Judaism, the Khamse is known as the Hand of Miriam and has numerous interpretations; one of them being the five senses one uses to praise God. However, in Islam, the Khamse is called the Hand of Fatima and is often hung in houses to ward off potential unfortunate events; it is said that a house which holds the Hand of Fatima will not catch fire. It also represents the five requirements of Islam: to profess your faith, to pray, to give alms, to fast, and to travel to Mecca as a pilgrimage.

More universally, the Khamse hand symbolizes God’s hand on Earth. It is meant as a talisman of holiness and miracles—quietly calling upon the forces of good to surround the one who bears it with luck, and protect against any unfavorable energies.  Growing up in a Middle Eastern household, for me, the Khamse has simply acted as the Arabic version of “knock on wood.”

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You will often see the Khamse in pairing with the Evil Eye. The Evil Eye amulet works against any “evil” look
that might inflict harm or malintent upon the person receiving it. If you’ve ever given someone a “death glare”, then you most likely understand.

In Middle Eastern culture, one look is strong enough to bring hostility into a person’s life, and the Evil Eye is the most powerful symbol to ward against that. Thus, the Khamse and the Evil Eye combined provide the absolute strongest protection; if you have both, you will have nothing but good fortune coming your way!

 

Post by Annie at Nomad