Informant: Yeah so in Turkey the evil eye, which is called I’m blanking on the name, it’ll come back to me. But it’s like yeah, it’s a form of protection. It protects you from you know, the evil but like more specific cases like if someone is like bad-mouthing you like talking behind your back that people in Turkey believe that if you have like an evil eye in your house or in your car or anything like it’ll protect you from-from things like that. You know it comes in different colors. It’s it’s-it’s supposed to be hung. Yeah, like in your car. People have bracelets rings they get tattoos of it. But in your home a lot of like Turkish like bazaars like the markets. They will hang it so they make like they put them in like birdhouses to like they put the evil eye design in like different like domestic objects, so that you can hang it it always has to be hanging that’s that’s something I mean, I guess like via tattoo then. I don’t know how that counts. But but in terms of like the jewelry or like the object itself, it has to be hanging because it like hangs like over you. So you want to hang it like above a door or like the entrance to your home like you walk in and it’s right there.
Informants Relationship to the Piece.
My informant was taught this by her parents and recalled a story of the time her mother had given her an evil eye for her car.
Informant: When I first got my license, I was going to drive for the first time by myself in a car. She had me hang an evil eye chain on the front mirror as like protection and then when I got in a car accident, she actually was like ‘It’s because that was in your car and it protected you’, because I didn’t have any injuries. And it’s really crazy how people believe it. But my mom believes in it very much so and because of that, it’s like yeah, it’s really been passed on to me where I have one hanging right there (she points to her wall where she has a small evil eye chain-hung”
The informant is one of my friends, a 20-year-old Turkish-American theatre major at the University of Southern California. I was told this as we were hanging out in her room after I asked her about some superstitions she believes in.
I definitely grew up seeing a lot of my friends wear an evil eye and seeing vendors who sold jewelry that contained the symbol, but I never really knew what it meant, other than being a pretty symbol. I think it’s interesting how the main purpose of the evil eye is to protect you from people bad-mouthing you behind your back, but for my informants’ family it’s become a catch-all symbol for protection, especially for their children as they begin to leave the house and become more independent, the evil eye becomes a way for the parents to keep an “eye” on their children.