Nazar (The Evil Eye)

This blog post is on Nazar (The Evil Eye).

The amulet retained its importance as a symbol used in different cultures for thousands of years. So how did the belief in the ‘evil eye’ and the blue evil eye bead come about to be protected from it?

In the world, the evil eye served as the most common protector against mystical evil forces, evil eyes.

The evil eye can be found not only in Istanbul markets but also on the exterior of aeroplanes and in comics.

In recent years, the amulet has also entered the fashion world. While Kim Kardashian has been featured many times with her evil eye bead jewellery, model Gigi Hadid announced last year that she will produce “Eye” themed shoes.

Although these new attempts seem to increase the popularity of the evil eye, this symbol has actually preserved its place in the imagination of people for thousands of years.

In order to understand how the evil eye emerged, it is necessary to first understand the difference between the evil eye bead and the evil eye. It is believed that the evil eye bead in the shape of an eye acts as a protector against the ‘evil eye’. What lies behind the evil eye is the feeling of envy and envy.

Eye Of Horus

Numerous blue Eyes of Horus or ‘Moon Eye’ have been found during excavations in Egypt.

The evil eye goes back thousands of years; It is much more difficult to determine the origin of the evil eye. It is believed that people who have achieved great success attract the envy of those around them and that one’s fortunes can be reversed due to the evil eye.

This belief has preserved its existence between generations as well as between cultures. Frederick Thomas Elworthy’s research on the evil eye shows that the symbol of the evil eye is found in Irish tales as well as in Greeks, and it also appears in religious books such as the Bible and the Qur’an, despite its pagan context.

Cursed Glances

The 1st-century Greek philosopher Plutarch offered a scientific explanation for this, according to himself: The human eye sometimes emitted an invisible ray that could kill small children or animals. In some people living in the south of the Black Sea, the evil eye was stronger. It was mostly believed in the evil eye of people with blue eyes. This is attributed to the fact that blue eyes are a genetically rare condition in the Mediterranean.

There are those who believe that the evil eye is actually a curse for the person who brings the evil eye. For example, an old Polish tale tells of a man who took his eyes out so that his loved ones would not be harmed by the evil eye.

The belief that one look could bring so much curse was so widespread that it led these ancient civilizations to seek protection from it and brought the evil eye bead to the agenda. So how old is the evil eye bead?

How Old Is The Charm?

Professor of art history at Bahçeşehir University, Dr Neşe Yıldıran, the first evil eye bead, BC. He says it dates back to the 3300’s. “Evil eye beads were found during excavations in Tell Brak, one of the oldest cities in Mesopotamia and within the borders of today’s Syria. It was in the form of geometric figures carved from alabaster.”

However, these were not like the blue beads we know today. These are in the Mediterranean region BC. It appears in the 1500s.

According to Yıldıran, “Glass evil eye beads in the Aegean Islands and Anatolia were directly related to the development of glass production. The blue colour originates from the highly oxidized glazed clay in Egypt. The clay with a mixture of copper and cobalt turns blue when it is fired.”

Yıldıran says many blue Eyes of Horus, or ‘Moon Eye’, were found during excavations in Egypt. Today’s evil eye beads may be based on these. Also, the ancient Turkic tribes admired this blue colour because of its closeness to the colour of the Sky God ‘Tengri’. Therefore, they may have adopted the use of cobalt and copper.

Blue evil eye beads gradually spread in the region; It was used by the Phoenicians, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, and Ottomans. Although the use of evil eye beads was more concentrated in the Mediterranean and Levent region, it also spread to different parts of the world through trade and the growth of the empire.

Problem Of Meaning

The interesting thing about the amulet is that it has not only survived for a long time but has not changed much in the way it has been used over thousands of years. Just as the ancient Egyptians and Etruscans painted an amulet on their ships in order to arrive safely, the same sign is used on the edge of the planes today. The evil eye is still attached to newborn babies in Turkey.

However, when the evil eye is used in different ways in the modern world, one wonders if its meaning and history will be forgotten. Recently, some forms of use, especially in the field of fashion, such as the use of amulets, have increased the concerns of appropriation of cultural values.

Yıldıran does not see this as a problem. “The evil eye is part of large geography and has been open to all kinds of applications. We will continue to see various motifs derived from it,” he says.

This symbol, which crosses cultural, religious and geographical boundaries, should not be seen as just a bead or fashion item. The amulet has existed since the earliest periods of civilization; It reflects humanity’s deepest and most enduring beliefs.

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