Tag Archives: Protection Charm

Evil Eye

Main Piece. 

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.

Bracelet Against Evil Eye

Informant: My informant is a current sophomore at the University of Southern California. Her parents are from Jalisco, Mexico. However, she grew up in Denver, Colorado.

Context: The following is a conversation that my informant and I had over zoom. During the zoom we were discussing some of the lore that we share. The following is an excerpt of our conversation and my informant explanation of her bracelet charm against evil eye.

Text: “I wear this bracelet as a protection amulet for myself. The reason that I wear it is that it’s a custom that has been present for many years now. I don’t think these customs come from Catholicism, even though my parents are religious, but I think it has to do a lot with indigenous roots. The evil eye is negative energy such as bad vibes, and jealousy and to keep that away we wear a bracelet with an eye on it. [The informant takes her bracelet off and hands it over to me]. Usually, these are red, but mine on here is a colorful number of beads and if you look at the middle it has like a hand with an eyeball in the center it has a little like eyeball, and it’s not super detailed or anything, but it’s just a circle, and the like outer part is red and then the inner part is completely white with like a singular black dot. And basically, I wear this all the time, because at some point I really did just start believing that it was a positive energy that protects you from other people’s bad glares. Even my little cousins wear this. My mom and dad always told us to wear these-slash- they put them on us as babies to protect us from evil.” 

Analysis: Hearing of the evil eye from another person who practices it was very interesting indeed. I for one also wear these kinds of bracelets because as a small child my mom taught me that these bracelets work as small amulets to keep me safe. Seeing how my informant and I learned these customs, superstitions, and myths from our family show how much one relies on our culture rather and on professionals or science to believe whether something is necessarily real. Some might argue that this is the placebo effect, our minds are playing games to make us believe that this is truly a protection. However, whether it is placebo effect or not, these charms have demonstrated to play a big role in developing our beliefs in practices towards our future generation: our children.

One of the bracelet charms against evil eye that informant showed during zoom share.

Ullr Skiing Medal

Title: Ullr Skiing Medal

Category: Magic Charm

Informant: Judith Keller

Nationality: American, caucasian

Age: Lower 70s

Occupation: Hospital Research Receptionist— Homemaker, Nurse, etc.

Residence: Fort Worth, Texas

Date of Collection: 4/09/18


An Ullr medal is a tiny figure of an Scandinavian God known as Ullr that protects skiers from harm. The medal is worn around the patron’s neck and under the skier’s jacket.


Judith Keller says that she used to wear the Ullr medal when she skied as a young girl. Her Uncle made her wear it under her normal ski clothes along with her cousins.

According to some historic accounts, Ullr was unbeatable on skis, never losing a race.  Some believe the Aurora Borealis is the snow flying off the tail of his skis.  In Germanic mythology Ullr is the main ski god of the 19th and 20th century; his character helped to establish a feeling of common identity among skiing pioneers in Norway and Central Europe, who prayed to him to insure the earth will be covered with snow, protecting it from winter’s harm.

In the United States, ski towns throw parties and parades in his honor.

Ullr medals have been popular with European skiers for over 100 years; they wear them for protection from harm while on the mountain. These medals have become highly collectible.

Personal Thoughts:

The medals are used by skiers as a token to ward off bad luck and bring protection to the wearer of the medal. The medals are apparently only produced “authentically” by one company and therefore exhibit the producer/consumer model we’ve studied of modernity in class. The medals claim to have a magical power that can protect winter sport enthusiasts. Mostly, these are used as an almost tourist item from the time spent skiing.


For additional history behind these medals, see:


MLA Citation:

“Ullr Ski Medals, Unique, Collectable, Custom Made Ski Medals. Ski Medals to Commemorate Ski Events – Ski Resort Events and Ski Resort Openings!” Ullr Ski Medals, Unique, Collectable, Custom Made Ski Medals. Ski Medals to Commemorate Ski Events – Ski Resort Events and Ski Resort Openings!, Ullr Ski Medals, www.ullrskimedals.com/.