The Orient - The Koran - Jochebed - Bead Necklaces - Ma-Shallah - Hassan And Hussein - Five Principal Commandments - Zufur Tukiah - Nasiree - Gadiri - Mohammed - Merzoum - The Diamond - Cube Of Amber - Scorpion-Charming - Clement Of Alexandria - The Fish - Dag - Sacred Monogram - Shen - Constantine The Great - Thoth - Household Cross - Yucatan - Wheel Cross.

A BELIEF in Talismans and Charms of every kind is universal in the Orient; written prayers, verses from the Koran, the name of the Prophet, and even miniature editions of the Koran itself enclosed in leather or cloth cases, suspended from the neck or tied to the arm, being the most favoured. The belief in the power of the Evil Eye is also widespread, and charms of the kind above-recorded are frequently written on pieces of wood which are fixed to door-posts or trees in the gardens to prevent the harmful glance from resting on the house or plants; should the wood crack it is believed that the injury would have been done had not the glance been intercepted by the Talisman on guard.

Another charm of great potency is the name "Jochebed," being the name of the Mother of Moses. By its constant repetition it is believed to reveal hidden secrets, unfasten locked doors, and discover treachery and evil doings.

Whilst necklaces and armlets made of the beads of Kerbela are worn upon the person, or put into bales of goods to protect them from thieves, Amulets enclosed in leather are hung on the necks of horses to prevent them from stumbling. Other Talismans consist of discs of gold, or silver, with the word "Mashallah" (God is Great) engraved upon them. These are worn for protection from all calamities, whilst sentences such as "There is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet" are also considered powerful charms. The names of the grandsons of Mohammed, Hassan and Hussein, engraved on beautifully polished Agate stones, are suspended from the neck or tied to the arms of children to protect them from falling. Blue beads are often sewn on the caps of poor children, and are frequently threaded on the hairs of the tails and manes of horses, being considered very efficacious in averting ill-wishing. A hand with one finger extended, not of coral as in the Levant, but of metal or of blue glass, is worn for the same reason; and at the present day small hands of blue glass made in this form are tied round the necks of children or attached to the part of the body to be protected from the Evil Eye. A hand with thumb and fingers outstretched, known as the Hand of the Lady Fatima (see Illustration No. in, Plate VIII), is still regarded as a powerful charm amongst all Moslems, and is made in all metals, often very crude in execution, its material and detail varying according to the wealth and position of its wearer. This Hand is regarded as a sacred symbol representing Generosity, Hospitality, Power, and Divine Providence; as a whole it represents the Holy Family, the prophet Mohammed being typified by the thumb, the Lady Fatima by the first finger, Ali, her husband, by the second, and the third and fourth fingers respectively being allotted to Hassan and Hussein, the sons of Fatima and Ali. It also serves to keep the faithful in constant remembrance of the Five Principal Commandments, i.e. to keep the Fast of Ramadan, to accomplish the Pilgrimage to Mecca, to Give Alms, to Perform the necessary Ablutions, and to Oppose all Infidels.

ETRUSCAN, GREEK, ROMAN, AND ORIENTAL TALISMANS.

ETRUSCAN, GREEK, ROMAN, AND ORIENTAL TALISMANS.

Plate 8