The James T. Callow Folklore Archive
To her knowledge, when a child of Greek descent is born, he or
she is given a charm (a golden eye) to protect him or her from what
is called a "matiasma." Roughly translated it means "given the eye"
or "eyed." This happens when someone admires someone out of jealousy
out loud. For example, "His voice is so incredible. I wish I had it."
Once one is eyed, if he or she is not wearing the charm or if one
doesn't say "ftousou" which is a Greek word that means "to spray
saliva," he or she is condemned to sickness. (When said, ftousou
literally sprays saliva in the person's face.)
This particular superstition is feared by my informant because,
as a child, she was "eyed" and became seriously ill. All was tried to
lower my informant's fever but nothing worked. Finally, with
hesitation, a witch doctor was summoned and the fever disappeared
within a single day. To this day she has believed in the curse and
gave me and her other son the golden eye. However, both have been
misplaced and to this date have not been found.
Where learned: GREECE
James Callow Keyword(s): amulet, talisman
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PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curse
Date learned: 00001943CA