Why the Evil Eye bead is more than just a good luck charm:
The Evil Eye is more than just a superstitious myth, and evil eye beads are more than just good luck charms. They are a reminder that we are all one people.
Take an Orthodox from Greece, a Catholic from Mexico, a Jew from Israel, or a Muslim from Turkey, Iran, or anywhere in the Middle East. Different people, different religions, everybody always fighting all the time, etc, etc.
But what do they all have in common? They all believe in the Evil Eye, and they all wear these good luck charms to guard against it.
The Evil Eye is a reminder that underneath it all, we are all the same human beings, even if we think we're different.
In our eyes, that's what makes the evil eye REALLY cool!
Enough editorial, now for the straight story...
Throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East, many people believe envious gazes or high praise from others can bring you bad luck.
The people who praise you probably mean you no harm, but still, evil spirits can piggyback in on their words or looks, and put a bad luck curse on you.
The Nazar Boncuk charm (or Evil Eye Bead) is an "eye", often set on a blue background. It stares back at the world to ward off the evil spirits and keep you safe from harm. It is one of the most common items of decoration in any Turkish home, in any car, or on any person. You can see the charm hanging above doorways, dangling from the wrists of young women, or even planted right into the cement outside modern office buildings. And always, always, you will see them pinned to the shirts of newborn babies.
What do the colors mean? In Turkey and surrounding countries, the most popular evil eye charm color is blue. Turkey is in a dry part of the world, where water is precious -- with water things prosper and grow, and without it, things shrivel and die. The color blue reminds people of fresh, cool water.
In the Jewish faith, the color red is often associated with luck and good fortune, so red is also a popular color.
When the Evil Eye Bead appears in other colors besides blue or red, it is usually for fashion reasons -- color coordination with one's wardrobe. Beads in the alternative colors have every bit as much protective power as the traditional blue ones.
Evil eye beads go back thousands of years. The earliest written references to the evil eye occur on Sumerian clay tablets dating to the third millennium BC. Agate beads of exceptional quality, worn to protect the wearer from the influence of the evil eye, were also discovered in royal Sumerian graves at Ur.
In Turkey and Greece, throughout the republics of Central Asia, and all the way to the Turkic regions of western China -- the effects of the "evil eye" are believed real, and genuinely feared.