El mal de ojo is a hex that is well known throughout Latin America. It is also common in the Mediterranean, East and West Africa, and in various religions. How you actually get the evil eye varies from country and culture, but there is one common denominator: envy. Someone seeing you walking down the street thinking that you look good or wear nice clothes might be the one behind the ojeado. People giving the evil eye aren’t always aware they are doing so, and you might not even know the person giving it to you.
In some cultures it is believed that only small infants can get ojeado, or that there are some persons who are more susceptible to it than others. Symptoms can include headache, depression and trouble sleeping. On my last trip to Argentina a tía told me she thought I had been ojeada because I couldn’t stop yawning even though I wasn’t tired. She “cured” me by saying a prayer.
There are more ways to cortar (destroy) el mal de ojo. In some countries/cultures it requires a curandera: a wise woman, or a sort of healer. She can pass an egg over the affected person’s body to absorb the hex, or pretend to sew shut an eye in the air above the victim’s head, thus “breaking the power” casted from the eye. If you want to be on the safe side, you can try wearing a red ribbon around your arm or use amulets such as evil eye beads, also called “lucky eyes.”
Do you know of any other ways to get rid of el mal de ojo?
A to Z World Superstitions & Folklore by Sibylla Putzi
by Jennifer Turano
To learn more about Jennifer Turano, go to www.chennifer.blogspot.com