One Stop Shopping for Evil Eye Amulets

Yesterday’s Sunday New York Times ran a piece on a shop in Brooklyn that specializes in selling the “nazar,” a traditional Middle Eastern amulet that gives protection against the baleful influence of the Evil Eye. The article notes:

“The amulets come in many shapes: butterflies, elephants, fish, dolphins — all adorned with the evil eye, concentric circles of blue and white. Charms drape from the ceiling and hang from the back wall, three or four layers deep. ‘This is a very, very old tradition,’ said Fazil Cengiz, a gray-haired cabdriver from Coney Island, shopping at Zigana on a recent evening. They give protection. Inner protection.’

“Evil-eye charms are believed to ward off jealousy and impart protection to their owner. They have been used for centuries in the Middle East, Asia, throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, spread along trading routes. Now they are found in every New York City borough. ‘If someone needs evil eyes, he comes over here,’ said Adil Kostereli, 52, the shop’s owner. ‘For evil eyes, it’s just me.’”

Read the entire article here:

Meanwhile, LiveScience describes the evil eye thusly:

“The evil eye is a human look believed to cause harm to someone or something else. The supernatural harm may come in the form of anything from a minor misfortune to disease, injury or even death. Folklorist Alan Dundes, in his edited volume ‘The Evil Eye: A Casebook,’ notes that ‘the victim’s good fortune, good health, or good looks — or unguarded comments about them — invite or provoke an attack by someone with the evil eye. If the object attacked is animate, it may fall ill. … Symptoms of illness caused by the evil eye include loss of appetite, excessive yawning, hiccups, vomiting, and fever. If the object attacked is a cow, its milk may dry up; if a plant or fruit tree, it may suddenly wither and die.'”

Read the entire piece here:

Meanwhile, Mr. Dundes writing on this subject, “The Wet, The Dry, the Evil Eye” can be downloaded here:

He believes the belief in the evil eye started in ancient Sumer and spread out from there, becoming an enduring part of folk religio-magical traditions throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean basin.

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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