I recently went with friends to the Greek Festival in Asheville, North Carolina. I noticed there was a LOT of jewelry with blue eyes all over it: bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and more, and I had no idea why. After talking to one of the Greek vendors, I learned that it had to do with the “evil eye” superstition in Greek culture.
Evil-eye jewelry is supposed to protect its wearer from the curse of the “Evil Eye.” “Mati” means eye in Greek, so it is referred to as mati jewelry, too. It’s believed that evil-eye beads divert people’s malicious glances over to the evil-eye beads.
That’s why these beads are put in places where everyone can easily see them. The beads not only give protection but also are supposed to bring good luck to wearers.
So, of course, my friend Shannon was smart enough to buy a pair of eyeball studs at the festival.
Personally, those evil eyes kind of creep me out. But I guess that’s the point, since the wearer shouldn’t be looking at the jewelry much unless they are incredibly vain.
I’ve also noticed some eye beads in a fantastic Spring 2011 Lark Jewelry & Beading book from author Jeri L. Warhaftig called Creating Glass Beads that we just shipped to our printer. The book will be released in March. Very colorful stuff!
What do you think about the evil eye? Are you superstitious? Do you wear any good luck charms?