The Evil Eye in Cultures Around the World

The legend or myth of the supernatural influence of the Evil Eye is seen in all continents. Even in Islam, it is stated by the tradition of the Islamic Hadith where Prophet Muhammad was the first person to speak in the topic of the Evil Eye. He said that this curse is borne out of jealousy and envy amongst people and is a source of harm and injury and that Allah commanded him to seek refuge in Him when this happens. In Hinduism, the Evil Eye is an attack on an individual’s spiritual balance that can transcend into the physical realm. It can only be cured with the dispelling of the curse from the Evil Eye by the cleansing of the person or the home via a ceremony known as ‘Nazar Utarna.

In South America, the Evil Eye referred in Spanish as Mal de Ojo. In these countries, it is embedded deep in the roots of the people and is called a cultural phenomenon. Their version of the legend is a little bit different from the rest of the world. They believe that there exist some individuals that are born with the ability to cause harm to others who are weaker. This led to dividing the weak as women, children, and the elderly, and the strong as men and people born into powerful status or positions. Ill intentions do not matter as much, as all it takes is for a strong individual to stare into the eyes of the weak to drain them of energy or life force. Admiring someone can also lead to landing them under the Mal de Ojo. This can only be broken if the strong person who gazed on them touches them afterwards. This belief stems from many sources, but the most unique is that looking into someone’s eyes is a sign of dominance, strength, and power, forcing the weak into submission and control.

Evil eye necklace are so ingrained in South American culture and has a significant impact on their traditional culture. It is used as the primary explanation for calamities, illness, deaths, and bad luck. Talismans and ceremonies, therefore, exist to get rid of the curse of their Evil Eye. A very popular talisman comes in the form of Ojos Turcos, or the Turkish Eye is represented by a glass bead covered in circular designs that are made to look like eyes. Ojos Turcos glass beads which are modeled after the Nazar or original blue Evil Eye design is made then bought and sold everywhere. They either come in the form of jewelry or as integrated into home décor to ward off evil. The Evil Eye purification ceremonies include one by the name of curandero meaning medicine man. So, this ceremony definitely involves a local healer or shaman to lead the ritual and heal the afflicted. Another way the weak can be treated is for a strong person to wave his hand over the victim of the Evil Eye. The type of treatments used depend heavily on the severity of the curse.

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