What is the Meaning of the Turkish Evil Eye?

What is the Meaning of the Turkish Evil Eye?

What is an Evil Eye?

We have all experienced at some time the destructive power of a "dirty” or envious look from another person who is harbouring unpleasant inner thoughts or feelings. In some cultures this look is referred to as "The evil eye” and is believed to cause injury or misfortune for the person on the receiving end! Ancient legends are full of the concept of cursing by staring giving rise to the belief that some people can invoke a curse on their victims just by deploying their malevolent look. Certainly most people do not enjoy being stared at with malice and this feeling as old as time itself has ensured the power of the evil eye has endured.

Origins of the Evil Eye

The Evil Eye may have originated as early as the Upper Palaeolithic age, however the first evidence of it has been found on 5000 year old Mesopotamian stone tablets. Belief in the evil eye is strongest in the Middle East, where it is found in Islamic doctrine, but its influence has spread across the globe, notably in West Africa, Central America, South and Central Asia, and Europe, especially the Mediterranean region; The spreading in the belief of the evil eye towards the east is believed to have been propagated by Alexander the Great, who spread this and other Greek ideas across his empire.

Evil Eye Talismans in Jewellery Making

It’s natural to want to stare back at some-one who is staring at you, but most cultures see this as rude. It’s better to ignore it, and that’s where a talisman comes in handy. The name "Evil Eye" leads many to believe the amulet or talisman itself is evil, not so!  Often made of glass, often blue in colour and depicting a staring eye which is supposed to bend the malicious gaze back to the perpetrator and ward off their evil thoughts and intentions, the talisman thus protects its owner. Over time these talismans have become popular features in pieces of jewellery, evil eye necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, anklets. It makes the talisman easy to wear, and it’s always handy, gazing back at anyone who is thinking ill of you!


Evil Eve Talisman

Evil Eye Bracelet

Five Amazing Facts about the Evil Eye

  1. In the Aegean Region and other areas where light-coloured eyes are relatively rare, people with green eyes, and especially blue eyes, are thought to bestow the curse.
  2. The evil eye pendant is attached to anything and everything that, it is felt, will attract envy and greed. In Turkey the evil eye pendant is often hung in front of your house or inserted into the foundations of modern offices and even and hung on the rear-view mirror in cars. pinned to the clothing of newborn babies and attached to the collar on pet animals.
  3. It is quite common and customary in the Turkish culture to give a gift of a Nazar Boncugu or "Evil Eye”, often shopkeepers will include one as a free gift for their customers.
  4. Within the broadcasting industry "To give someone the evil eye" refers to when a presenter signals to the interviewee or co-presenter to stop talking due to a shortage of time.
  5. In Hawaiian it is known as "stink eye" or "rotten eye".

Care of Evil Eye Jewellery

Please see our article on Cleaning Glass and Crystal Jewellery

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Evil Eye Bracelets and Necklaces from Turkey

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