It was back in 2018 that the nazar (Arabic word for sight or attention) amulet, also popularly known as the Evil Eye charm, became an emoji under Apple’s Emoji 11. By then, it was already a part of Twitter’s Twemoji feature, signifying its growing popularity in contemporary culture.
For some context, the Evil Eye charm when adorned, is known to ward off bad vibes and envious intentions of others.
IN THE PAGES OF HISTORY
The concept of the Evil Eye charm is anything but a modern one, though. The earliest reference of the Evil Eye amulets go back to 3,300 BC, when amulets with the symbol were excavated in Tell Brak, one of the oldest cities of Mesopotamia – which is now modern day Syria.
Heliodorus of Emesa, beautifully encapsulates the concept of the nazar charm in the ancient Greek romance of Aethiopica, where he writes — “When any one looks at what is excellent with an envious eye, he fills the surrounding atmosphere with a pernicious quality, and transmits his own envenomed exhalations into whatever is nearest to him.”
(Interesting to note that Agora Curated bears a connection to Greek heritage as well, as the word ‘agora’ translates to a historic and public open space that was used for assemblies and markets in the language.)
THERE IS IN FACT, A SCIENTIFIC CORRELATION
Offering a more scientific explanation is Greek philosopher Plutarch, who in his literature Symposiacs, explains that the human eye has the power of exuding invisible rays of energy that in some cases are potent enough to harm small animals or children. He also mentions that blue-eyed humans were more proficient at delivering the curse, owing to the fact that the azure eye colour was a genetic rarity in the Mediterranean region. This perhaps explains the striking blue colour of the nazar or Evil Eye charm.
NO BAD VIBES: A GLOBAL BELIEF SYSTEM
It is no surprise that the concept of this evil glance surpasses several cultures and countries, as it’s a commonly accepted belief in several countries around the world, including Turkey, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, France and of course — India. Speaking of the Indian subcontinent, irrespective of whether the glare is a malicious or an admirable one, jealously is at the root of the power of the bad look in Hindu culture. According to Hindu mythology, one is most susceptible to this baleful gaze when one is transcending through an important phase of life — be it puberty, a change in career, marriage or childbirth. In fact, the Hindus also believe that animals such as snakes can pass on the evil glance too. Along with the nazarornament, the culture is convinced about the power of the colour black to wade off evil intentions. From black strings worn around the foot to black dots behind the ears for new born children, Indians have found many creative ways to keep envious looks at bay.
ITS MODERN DAY RELEVANCE MAY SURPRISE YOU
Back in 2017, supermodel Gigi Hadid collaborated with stalwart shoemaker Stuart Weitzman to create a line with the striking Evil Eye symbol called EyeLove. It’s safe to say that the footwear collection stirred the fashion industry with its bold and imposing design elements. When asked about the relevance of the Evil Eye in her life, Gigi said: “It’s something that has always been part of my life. My dad’s Palestinian and that’s something that is not only a part of his culture, but a lot of different cultures around the world use it in different ways.”
Last year, Meghan Markle was spotted wearing the nazar symbol as a necklace in one of her online interviews. Sofía Vergara, Jennifer Anniston, Miley Cyrus and Indian actor Katrina Kaif have also been spotted adorning the charm on multiple occasions; highlighting its significance in the modern fashion world.
While the classic Evil Eye bauble is blue and white, its different colours symbolise different meanings. For example, while orange represents protection, happiness, creativity and motivation, light blue stands for general protection. The colour grey is used for protection against sorrow, where as far blue is to guard your karma and fate.
CHECK OUT THESE EVIL EYE ACCESSORIES ON AGORA CURATED