Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: March 28, 2017
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Gujarati
Note: The form of this submission includes the dialogue between the informant and I before the cutoff (as you’ll see if you scroll down), as well as my own thoughts and other notes on the piece after the cutoff. The italics within the dialogue between the informant and I (before the cutoff) is where and what kind of direction I offered the informant whilst collecting.
I’m from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
So my grandma always did this thing, where she had this belief where if people see success too much, they give you the stink or evil eye, trying to wish you bad luck. So what she would do and say to do is to make a black mark somewhere you cannot see it- so take a little bit of like eyeliner, or mascara, and put it like right behind the ear or something to ward off evil spirits, and people’s bad visions. It’s the same way either way for males and females, but females do it generally.
Piece Background Information:
Informant already mentioned within piece that their grandmother taught them this folk belief on protection against the evil or bad eye.
Context of Performance:
In person, during the day, in Ronald Tutor Campus Center on USC’s campus in Los Angeles.
Thoughts on Piece:
Upon further research, it is commonly believed in India that the main source (i.e. givers) of the evil eye are women, which is why they generally use this protection against the evil eye. The black mark is meant to cast or ward off negative energy and evil spirits. I could not find significant meaning as to why it is a black mark, or behind the ear, but I found this protection against the evil eye very interesting.