Monday, February 15, 2010

EVIL EYE - meanings and history

Evil eye is a look that is superstitiously believed by many cultures to be able to cause injury or bad luck on the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. The term also refers to the power attributed to certain persons, of inflicting injury or bad luck by such an envious or ill wishing look.

Disks or balls, consisting of concentric blue and white circles (usually, from inside to outside, dark blue, light blue, white, dark blue) representing an evil eye are common apotropaic talismans in the Middle East, found on the prows of Mediterranean boats and elsewhere; in some forms of the folklore, the staring eyes are supposed to bend the malicious gaze back to the sorcerer.
Belief in the evil eye is strongest in the Middle East, East and West Africa, Central America, South Asia, Central Asia, and Europe, especially the Mediterranean region; it has also spread to other areas, including northern Europe, particularly in the Celtic regions, and the Americas, where it was brought by European colonists and Middle Eastern immigrants. In Mexico and Central America, infants are considered at special risk for evil eye (see mal de ojo, above) and are often given an amulet bracelet as protection, typically with an eye-like spot painted on the amulet. In some parts of South America the act of Ojear which could be translated as to give someone the evil eye is an unvoluntary act. This persons may ojear babies, animals and inanimate objects just by staring and wanting them. This may produce illness, discomfort or eventually death on babies or animals and failures on inanimate objects like cars or houses. It's a common belief that since this is an involuntary act made by people with heavy look, the proper way of protection is by attaching a red ribbon to the animal, baby or object, in order to attract the gaze to the ribbon rather than to the object intended to protect.









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