The All-Powerful Hand

The ancient symbol of a protective hand is common to Christians, Jews, and Muslims. This figure, the Mano Poderosa or All-Powerful Hand, from the late 1800s, is a specifically Catholic version of its Roman predecessor. The five small figures atop the fingers are: Baby Jesus on the thumb; St. Joseph on the index finger; the Virgin Mary on the middle finger; St. Joachim (Mary's father) on the fourth finger; and St. Anne (Mary's mother) on the pinkie.
Description (Spanish)
El antiguo símbolo de una mano protectora es común a cristianos, judíos y musulmanes. Esta figura de la Mano Poderosa, del fin del siglo XIX, es una versión específicamente católica de su predecesora romana. Las cinco figuras pequeñas en el extremo superior de los dedos son: el niño Jesús en el pulgar; San José en el índice; la Virgen María en el mayor; San Joaquín (padre de María) en el anular y Santa Ana (madre de María) en el meñique.
Currently not on view
Date made
late 19th century
Caban Group
Caban Group
Place Made
Puerto Rico: Arecibo, Camuy
Physical Description
handmade (overall production method/technique)
wood; paint; metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
paint (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 25.6 cm x 9.3 cm x 6.4 cm; 10 1/16 in x 3 11/16 in x 2 1/2 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Teodoro Vidal
Puerto Rico
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Cultures & Communities
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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