Evil Eye Beads in History

Evil Eye Wall Hanging
Egyptian Eye Pendant | Corning Museum of Glass
Egyptian Eye Pendant | Corning Museum of Glass

The evil eye is a curse believed to be cast by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when they are unaware. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury. Talismans created to protect against the evil eye are also frequently called “evil eyes”.

The idea expressed by the term causes many different cultures to pursue protective measures against it. The concept and its significance vary widely among different cultures, primarily in West Asia. The idea appears several times in translations of the Old Testament. It was a widely extended belief among many Mediterranean and Asian tribes and cultures. Charms and decorations with eye-like symbols known as nazars, which are used to repel the evil eye are a common sight across Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Southern Italy (Naples), the Levant, and Afghanistan and have become a popular choice of souvenir with tourists.

Click to watch documentary videos about evil eye meaning and evil eye bead making in Turkey.

Period: Ptolemaic or Roman Period | Date: 304 B.C.–A.D. 364 | Geography: Egypt | Medium: Glass
Period: Ptolemaic or Roman Period | Date: 304 B.C.–A.D. 364 | Geography: Egypt | Medium: Glass
Eight Ancient Islamic Glass Eye Beads - Mali West Africa - 700 AD or Earlier
Eight Ancient Islamic Glass Eye Beads – Mali West Africa – 700 AD or Earlier
Bracelet with Crocodile and Goddess amulets Bracelet with Crocodile and Goddess amulets 800-300 BC Phoenician (Source: The British Museum)
Bracelet with Crocodile and Goddess amulets Bracelet with Crocodile and Goddess amulets 800-300 BC Phoenician (Source: The British Museum)
glass-celtic-eye-bead
Glass ‘Eye’ bead bracelet from a Celtic burial at Necropole de Prosnes (Marne) France. (5th c. BC)
Gold Amulet Pendant, Roman, 2nd century C.E.
Gold Amulet Pendant, Roman, 2nd century C.E.



 

 

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