giovedì 22 novembre 2012


A video from Napoli, the home town of good luck amulets. It is said: "It's not true (superstition), but I believe in it" [Non è vero, ma ci credo].

Malocchio (evil eye)
The evil eye is a look that is believed be able to cause injury or bad luck for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. The term also refers to the power attributed to certain persons of inflicting injury or bad luck by such an envious or ill-wishing look. The evil eye is usually given to others who remain unaware. Charms and decorations are a common tool against it.

Jettatore (bad luck bearer)
The bearer of the evil eye, the jettatore, is described as having a striking facial appearance, high arching brows with a stark stare that leaps from his black eyes. He often has a reputation for clandestine involvement with dark powers and is the object of gossip about dealings in magic and other forbidden practices.
Here one example: once again the famous Neapolitan actor Totò, in the episode La patente (The licence) from the 1954 film Questa è la vita (This is life), inspired by Luigi Pirandello's short stories.
Please notice at the beginning of the clip some good luck spells made by people crossing jettatore's way: holding a big horn and grabbing testicles.

And now, some traditional spells against evil eye, the first from Sicilia and the second from Campania (the region of Napoli). It's interesting to see that the ancestral and pagan belief in evil eye is mixed together with christian elements: those old women say prayers to saints, Jesus and Virgin Mary and make crosses with hands or oil drops.

To finish, a clip from a 1983 comic movie: Occhio, malocchio, prezzemolo e finocchio (Eye, evil eye, parsley and fennel), with the actor Lino Banfi. It witnesses the place superstitions have in popular culture.

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