The Evil Eye
“The evil eye is something that can be transmitted to anyone over jealousy or many other various factors. However, the group who tends to be more susceptible to this curse are babies, especially new borns and those who have not yet been baptized. Since they don’t the Holy Spirit helping their souls combat evil, that’s why they can easily be touched with the evil eye. A good way to prevent that is by buying babies a red bracelet, that will not let the evil eye penetrate. If you for some reason can’t find a bracelet, a piece of red thread will work fine also. The point is to have something red around the baby’s wrist so that the evil eye can’t get to them… my mom told me about this when I had my first child. I noticed that she could not sleep well so I asked my mom what was good and she told me that the reason my baby was having difficulty sleeping was that she may have got “el mal de ojo” (the evil eye). Regardless of what anyone may think, this actually worked. After I put the bracelet on my baby’s hand, everything was back to normal.”
My informant is a 41 year old Mexican descendant who was born in Mexico but has lived in the USA for the most part of her life. She maintains most of her ties to her Mexican culture while living in the USA so therefore, most of the things she knows has been passed down by her mother and other relatives. She does not necessarily learn her “cures” for different thing via a specific book or other published material, but rather from relatives in her daily life.
In my opinion, the fact that the informant’s recollection of where she learned this “cure” is from her mother, shows that perhaps her culture relies on being taught from others rather than by officiated people. Another thing I found interesting is that even though one might see this type of cure as irrational, the fact that the informant says that the cure actually worked shows that these folk remedies are practiced without hesitation and may even be preferred. This is because instead of seeing a doctor, the informant contacted her mother first. Regardless, this specific type of folk remedy seems to me as having a placebo effect. Maybe all people need is to think they’re getting better and they will get better. I definitely hope to try this out someday