Evil Eye beads Australia

The Evil Eye

The evil eye is the name for a sickness transmitted - usually without intention - by someone who is envious, jealous, or covetous. It is also called the invidious eye and the envious eye. In Hebrew it is ayin ha'ra (the evil eye), which in Yiddish is variously spelled ayin horoh, ayin hora, or ayen hara.Hamsa Hand of Fatima In mainland Italian it is mal occhio (the bad eye) and in Spanish mal ojo or el ojo (the bad eye or just the eye). In Sicily it is jettatore (the projection [from the eye]) and in Farsi it is bla band (the eye of evil).

Mano Cornuto - Horned HandThe evil eye belief is that a person - otherwise not malefic in any way - can harm you, your children, your livestock, or your fruit trees, by “looking at them” with envy and praising them. The word "evil" is unfortunate in this context because it implies that someone has "cursed" the victim, but such is not the case. A better understanding of the term "evil eye" is gained if you know that the old British and Scottish word for it is "overlooking, " which implies merely that the gaze has remained too long upon the coveted object, person, or animal. In other words, the effect of the evil eye is misfortunate, but the person who harbours jealousy and gives the evil eye is not necessarily an evil person per se.


Many books have been written about the evil eye.Mano Fico - Fig Hand The classic 19th century text is "The Evil Eye: The Origins and Practices of Superstition" by Frederick Thomas Elworthy. A short popular survey is"Terrors of the Evil Eye Exposed" (reprinted as "Protection from Evil") by Henri Gamache. The most thought-provoking academic essay I have found on the psychology and the distribution of this belief in world cultures is "Wet and Dry: The Evil Eye" by Professor Alan Dundes, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. The article can be found in two of his books, "Interpreting Folklore" and "The Evil Eye: A Casebook, " the latter a collection of scholarly writings assembled as a text for his anthropology-folklore students.

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