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Symbolism and Influence of the Eye of Nazar

Plamena M.Plamena M.
Eye of Nazar

The Eye of Nazar - this is the name of the blue amulet crafted in the shape of an eye, a very common sight in the Middle East and some European countries. The evil eye or "nazar boncuğu" as it is also called, is one of the most common amulets in Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Armenia, Iran, Afghanistan, Greece, Cyprus and Azerbaijan.

Wearing these small blue eyes is a millennia-old practice. They are often traded as gifts and used to decorate cars, offices and homes, to protect them from curses. It is believed that the glass eye sees all evil and has the ability to drive it away.

In the past, it was believed that people with blue eyes had an "evil eye" and possessed the ability to curse others severely. It is because of this that it is thought that wearing an amulet in the shape of an eye thwarted the harmful energy, by "gazing" directly into the ill-wisher. It is believed that when the Eye of Nazar cracks or breaks, it has absorbed the evil within it and must be replaced with a new one.

The origin of the evil eye is unknown. It is presumed that it is linked to the all-seeing eye of Horus, while others call it the "Eye of the Prophet" or the "Eye of Allah".

The Eye of Nazar enjoys exceptional reverence in Egypt. It has been used for its status of a powerful talisman since back in the ancient Egyptian cultures. One of the legends goes that when the Egyptian god Horus opened his eyes, light flooded across the world. Because of this it is believed that besides warding off evil forces, the eye also has the ability to attract goodness.

Blue Eye

Among numerous South European peoples, there still exists the belief of "evil eyes", which are capable of stealing human energy and causing strife. Therefore, wearing an Eye of Nazar is nothing unusual. Anyone can decorate their neck, hand or even their cell phone with a blue eye bead.

Besides the superstitions and beliefs about wearing an evil eye, it is also widely popular as a souvenir among tourists. In Turkey for example, Eyes of Nazar are sold and placed for and on everything that they can be attached to. Even today, old master glassblowers can be found in Izmir, who craft these blue beads.

There is, however, one special requirement for the crafting of these small blue eyes, if we want them to work right. They must be handmade from glass. They can be worn anywhere but must be visible. They can be sewn into the clothes of newborns, worn as personal jewelry, placed as decorations in houses, stores and even in cars.