Good Luck Charm – Italy

The Mano Cornuto.

The Mano Cornuto is an Italian good luck charm that Michael owns in the form of a necklace.  He received the necklace at the age of 14 from his grandfather who is from Southern Italy.  Michael wears the necklace around his neck everyday as a form of good luck.  Specifically, Michael says that, “The Mano, which is the hand, and the cornuto, which is the horn, are good luck charms acting as protection against the evil eye.”  In general, Michael wears the necklace for good luck and in respect of his grandfather.  He found out the meaning of the Mano Cornuto from his Grandfather, who learned it from his father.  Michael, an Italian American from New Jersey, stays very in touch with his Italian heritage and this charm is a way to stay connected on a daily basis.

I believe that the horn has more meaning than just the protection of the evil eye.  The horn can be representative of an animal, and this might be a good luck charm in keeping Italian farmers’ herds of animals healthy and even a good luck charm for a good crop.  The Mano or the hand gesture is very similar to the hang ten sign of Hawaiians.  Hang ten is another way of saying “hang loose” or “keep it real”, as a form of a comment when leaving a conversation.  It’s possible that hang ten and the Mano are somehow related as a form of having good luck.