Just another interesting bit of Brazil culture…
Chances are you have seen this famous symbol many times, especially if you have been to Brazil! Or you’ve definitely seen someone wearing an evil eye amulet. You may have witnessed a person give the “evil eye” look or you may have even given it yourself. Haha 🙂
But do you know the deep history of the evil eye symbol, and do you know how popular and prevalent the evil eye is throughout many different cultures?
The symbol and superstition of the evil eye is one of the strongest symbolic images in the world. I REALLY didn’t know this… Even with differences in the cultures which hold the evil eye myth, it has much the same meaning no matter where the story is told. In its most basic form, the evil eye is thought of as a look given to inflict harm, suffering, or some form of bad luck on those that it is cast upon. It is “a look” which clearly states that one intends for something bad to happen to the object of one’s focus, either out of jealousy or pure malice. The superstition of the evil eye holds that the malicious look is powerful enough to bring about actual disaster for the unfortunate person that is the receiver of the glare. I remember hearing this saying “evil eye” as a kid and associated it more with the person not being pleased with you or your actions and you would get “the evil eye”, not wanting to inflict harm!
What is interesting…The earliest known evidence for belief in the evil eye goes back to ancient Greece and Rome. There, it was believed that the evil eye was the largest threat to anyone who had been praised too much, or received admiration beyond what they truly deserved. The praised person would become so swollen with pride that he or she would bring about his or her own doom via the evil eye, which was believed to be able to cause physical or mental illness. A belief in the evil eye is widespread on every continent. The Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Central America all fear the evil eye. But when we were in Miami this winter, I was surprised to see some evil eye stuff and the jewelry in the shops there too!
In Brazil the superstition is known as the “fat eye” rather than evil.Compliments which are sincere are not feared to cause the evil eye to attack as in other countries, but insincere compliments are thought to put one at stake. It is called ou “olho gordo” (literally “fat eye”)
The most popular method of escaping the evil eye’s effects in many cultures is by the use of evil eye talismans, evil eye symbols, and evil eye jewelry. These are meant to “reflect” the power of the evil look. The jewelery and key chains are very common in Brazil. The evil eye is an extremely popular piece in jewelry design and in recent years many celebrities wear pieces that have the blue eye symbol. I guess you could say it’s like a lucky rabbit foot. 🙂