According to legend, the evil eye is a curse and usually given to someone when they are not aware of it. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune and even injury. Giving someone the evil eye can also mean to glare at a person in anger, envy or disgust. Classical authors of antiquity believed that the eyes were a source of deadly rays that could penetrate a person’s aura. The idea of the evil eye dates back to 427 BC as it was discovered that the evil was mentioned in books written by the philosopher Plato in Athens Greece.
During this time the belief in the evil eye varied from culture to culture. The Romans believed that a whole tribe could transmit the evil eye and harm an entire community. In the Aegean Region and other areas where light eyes were rare on people, these cultures believed that people with blue or green eyes could cause a curse by staring at you. The spreading of the belief of the evil eye across the world according to documents was started by the Empire of Alexander the Great.
The symbol of the evil eye can be found in Armenia, Albania, Tunisia, Lebanon, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, Morocco, southern Spain, Italy, Greece, Afghanistan, Syria and Mexico. Talismans of the evil eye have been created in many different forms, colors, sizes and designs. In Turkey and Greece, amulets against the evil eye take the form of blue or green eyes. A blue or green eye can also be found on some forms of the hamsa hand, a hand shaped in form of a talisman.
The word hamsa, also spelled kamsa and hamesh, means “five” referring to the five fingers of the hand. In the Jewish culture, the hamsa is called the Hand of Mirian and a reference to Moses’ sister. In some Muslim cultures the hand talisman is called the Hand of Fatima, and refers to the prophet Mohammed’s daughter.
The Mexican culture has its own version of the evil eye folklore. The evil eye belief is that a person and not necessarily an evil person can harm your baby by looking and and praising the baby without touching the infant. The evil eye, or “mal de ojo” causes the baby to be hot and cranky.
The oyo de venado or deer’s eye charm is used to protect babies from the evil eye. The charm looks like a round seed about the size of a quarter and usually has a catholic saint image taped on the seed and is attached to a red string. The charm is generally pinned to the baby’s clothing and used for protection from “mal de oyo”.
You can purchase evil eye products in the form of bracelets, necklaces, hanging décor, pendants and ceramics. All of these products are used to protect you from negative energy as well as from people that want to harm you or your family.
The legend of the evil eye lives on to this day.