Most commonly, the Hamsa is made in the shape of a hand with five fingers outstretched. There is, however, the unique Cohanim Hamsa. In this position, the forefinger and third finger are joined from one side, and the ring finger and the little finger are joined from the other side.
The name “Hamsa” (“Hansa” in Sanskrit, or “Al Khamsa” in Arabic) is from the Semitic root word for five, and is a very ancient symbol in the Middle East. Although it is an ancient symbol, the Hamsa is still popular today and is believed to possess magical powers of protection, happiness and prosperity.