A number of items have been identified in the book thus far that are incredibly interesting. One of them is identified as a talisman to protect against the Evil Eye, which Turgut provides to Helen after the Gypsy begins to scream at her at the restaurant after they've just met.
The Evil Eye can be found in many cultures -- the curse is said to cause sickness or misfortune, and many times, it's often based on envy only, and cast unintentionally. The Evil Eye, nonetheless, was (and in some cases, still is), one to be feared, and one to be protected against. It doesn't come from anyone specifically who may have magical abilities, but can be sent off by any one of us who may have that jealous thought of another.
It's believed that we have a Third Eye, one that has the ability to cast this curse on another. In Turkey, there are discussions that there are three types of eyes that can cause harm:
- Unknowing Eye - jealously looked on another and wished they could have those fortunes
- Intentional Eye - jealously looked on another and specifically wished bad luck to fall on another
- Invisible Eye - true evil and the most severe form
The general understanding of who is more susceptible to the Evil Eye are children, women, and animals -- those considered as "weaker" to the influence. It is believed that the recipient of the Evil Eye experiences a "drying up" of good within the recipient -- health.
So, how does one protect oneself against the Evil Eye? The below amulet, also known as a Nazar can be found in Turkey -- they are in houses, worn as jewelry, put in cars. Anywhere where it's thought one might be exposed to jealousy.
|Amulet to ward off evil - Known as a Nazar|
...when the Gypsy suddenly wheeled on her, pointing and hissing. Turgut started and Helen, usually fearless, shrank back. This seemed to bring Turgut to life; he half stood and with a scowl of indignation began to berate the Gypsy. It was not difficult to understand his tone and gestures, which invited her in no uncertain terms to take herself off. She glared at all of us and withdrew as suddenly as she'd appeared, vanishing among the other pedestrians. Turgut sat down again, looking wide-eyed at Helen, and after a moment, he rummaged in his jacket pocket and drew out a small object, which he placed next to her plate. It was a flat blue stone about an inch long, set with white and paler blue, like a crude eye. Helen blanched when she saw it and reached as if by instinct to touch it with her forefinger. (p.192)
But since the Evil Eye is given to another because of jealousy, why would the Gypsy be jealous of Helen? What do you think?
Yours in Profoundest Grief,
Coffee and a Book Chick
Tedious & Brief