A common question, we hope we can answer!
In its basic form the evil eye is a curse passed from one person to another. This is usually done through staring, but it isn’t just limited to this. It can also be passed on through a false compliment or even through focused negative thoughts. The root source of this curse comes from a person’s jealousy; envy, bitterness or that they harbour some sort of resentment.
Once you have received this negativity many cultures believe the evil eye will cause “bad luck”. It is believed that this bad luck can manifest itself as misfortune or go as far as causing injury. Many of those who believe in the evil eye have an evil eye to protect them from the evil eye. Ironically the term “evil eye” references some form of amulet/talisman that offers them the protection.
The concept of the evil eye varies widely from culture to culture, but it is most prevalent in locations of West Asia and a few Mediterranean countries. In these locations the evil eye amulet/ talisman is called a “Nazar”.
Nazar is an Arabic derived word for sight. Although its basis is Arabic, many other languages have borrowed the term. Examples of its use can be found in Hindi-Urdu; Bengali; Persian; Punjabi; Turkish just to name a few.
Typically, a Nazar (Evil Eye) is handmade from glass, predominantly in concentric circles, but they are common in other shapes. Colouring is usually Royal/Navy Blue outer section, followed by a ring of white, then a ring of light blue and finishing with a Black dot. Although this is the most common and well-known variant of the evil eye, you will regularly come across cultural variations. And in modern times you will see it represented in different forms of accessories; fashion; homeware and jewellery items.
Historical records show that the evil eye has been around for thousands of years. Early examples of eye shaped amulets were seen from 3300BC. What is interesting, is the original curse touched on earlier has even older roots which are extremely difficult to trace.