Amulet Trail: Amulet against Evil Eye, Syria

1956.10.1PRM 1956.10.1

This amulet is designed to protect against the Evil Eye, an ancient and widespread belief that some people possess the power (often unbeknown to them) to inflict malady or misfortune upon a person or creature with just a glance. Often it is thought that the glance is fuelled by jealousy, leading people to adorn their most treasured possessions – their houses, children and animals – with a protective charm. These are often brightly coloured or incorporate shiny materials, designed to draw the Eye's attention away from the wearer.

This is a composite amulet made of glass, tin and plastic for multiple protection. The Hand of Fatima (bottom) wards off evil and brings strength, the blue eyes return the gaze of the Evil Eye (in Mediterranean culture, where fair-eyed people were uncommon, blue eyes are held to have special powers), and the alum stones help stop bleeding.

evil eye stall
Market stall selling blue glass Evil Eye amulets, Istanbul, Turkey (Sheila Paine)

Artisans of Memory

Behind the scenes of an amulets project

This series of short films follows the progress and practices of those connected with the Small Blessings project as they unravel the stories surrounding these curious objects.

The full series of films may be viewed here.


Amulets Competition

The competition is now closed and a winner has been announced. Find out more here.

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