Evil Eye (Mati)

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
The Evil Eye hung up outside of my house.
The Evil Eye hung up outside of my house.

My object is a staple in Greek culture: the evil eye, or in Greek, the mati. Mati means eye in Greek. In Greece, the evil eye is such a well-known and popular symbol that it is sold in almost every store you walk into. It can’t possibly be missed. In Greece, it is traditionally worn as a bracelet or necklace to block off the evil eye disease, which is given after someone gives you a negative look. That is where the name mati comes from. Although the evil eye originated in Turkey, the Greeks quickly brought it into their own culture, and the rest is history. Although my family has owned many evil eyes over the years, we most recently bought one in Athens a few years back. You can’t get more authentic of an evil eye than that! It now sits outside of our house, granting good luck to everyone who enters. The evil eye symbolizes the eye in the sky that is always watching us and a mirror that reflects all negativity. Whenever someone from my family gets a headache, we call my grandma who knows a special prayer called the mati in order to relieve the pain. The simplistic yet iconic design of the evil eye brings me back to the long summer nights walking down the dimly-lit shore, passing by stores that sell many different variations of it. The evil eye brings me back to my culture.

Place(s): New York, Greece

– JN

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant