ANTI-AGING JEWELRY?

Oynx and Evil Eye Necklace
Oynx and Evil Eye with Diamond Necklace

 It’s no secret that the “anti-aging” market represents the biggest segment of consumer spending today.  No one wants to grow old gracefully, and today men as well as women spend billions and billions of  dollars trying to keep their skin taut and smooth, their hair gloriously abundant, their bodies firm and perky, even as the decades roll on.

And it’s not just Boomers who are obsessed with staying young. Today everything from pomegranate juice (yum) to exfoliants are marketed as preventive aging, to people in their 20s, as well as to more mature buyers.

Frankly, it’s exhausting. But we do have a suggestion—a Hamsa, an “eye” pendant, or even a piece of jewelry designed after the life-giving pomegranate!

Pomegranante Pendant
Pomegranate Jewlery

The Hamsa is a hand-shaped pendant which has been worn across the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa for millennia. The “eye” of course is an amulet which  resembles an eye, with an equally long history in the same areas of the world.  Both are traditional talismans for protecting the wearer from the so-called  evil eye.

Coincidentally, I suppose, the eyes and the hands are the first parts of our bodies to show our age. These are the two areas where our skin is the thinnest. Because the skin  here is so thin, fine lines and wrinkles show up here first as the result of constant UV exposure, weather, stress and repetitive gestures (smiling, frowning). Hands in particular are tattle-tales when it comes to age, because they contain no oil-glands—they often look older than the rest of us!

Moisture is key to keeping the skin young, as the manufacturers of zillions of skin care brands will tell you. Again, perhaps coincidentally, moisture plays a role in the concept of the evil eye.  The brilliant Dr. Alan Dundes, who taught at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote a landmark essay on the history of the evil eye, observing that the ill effect of the “eye” was always dehydration. He surmised that because the tradition arose in the Middle East, where water has always been scarce, the worst possible thing that could happen would be for an oasis or well to run dry, or  for drought to blight the land, as is happening in Africa today. This would cause your flocks and  orchards to perish. Other metaphorical losses symbolized by moisture-loss—for instance, loss of sexual potency and fertility—are also
associated with the “eye”, and guarded against with the Hamsa and eye amulets.

The aging process really consists of several factors—genetics, stress, conditions, attitude.  Other than a good skin care regimen, especially eye and hand-cream (our favorites: Dermalogica Hand and Nail Treatment, Intensive Eye Repair, Total Eye Carehttp://dermalogica.com), what can really be done? To wear in good health, whatever your age, and to see you safely from one year and one decade to the next, we recommend #gwn-f, a modern silver Hamsa with small “eye”, #ww17,  our Diamond “eye” pendant with your choice of gemstone strands, and for even  juicier protection, try # Pom5, our Ruby Pomegranate necklace, set in 14karat rose gold.

Getting older? Mazel tov—
and go in style.

AN EYEFUL EVIL EYE JEWELRY

Sterling silver evil eye bracelet
Sterling silver evil eye bracelets
Glass and evil eye silver bracelet
Evil Eye Glass and Silver Bracelet

Our “evil eye” jewelry is extremely popular. Some of the feedback we enjoy receiving is that our designs offer ancient talisman in modern, feminine, cool, hip, even glamorous and fabulous form. Basically, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing a museum relic—not that there’s anything wrong with antiquities, by the way. 

People from Israel, Greece, Sicily, Italy, Turkey, North Africa and other areas around the Mediterranean are usually familiar with this idea of the “eye”—it’s part of the culture and has been for thousands of years. The eye (usually blue) gazes out over doorways, dangles from the rear-view mirrors of taxicabs, and is carefully pinned inside baby-clothes. It even hangs around the necks of hard-working donkeys!

But maybe the concept loses a bit in translation. The use of the word “evil” puts some people off.

Blue Diamond and Gold Evil Eye

“Evil” sounds really aggressive, but folkloric scholars (and yes, there are such people) generally share the opinion that the evil eye is generally perceived as passive. Foremost among these scholars was Dr. Alan Dundes, who worked and taught at the University of Berkeley.

Dr. Dundes’ exhaustive and fascinating studies include an essay called “The Wet and the Dry: The Evil Eye.” Here, he discusses the idea that the evil eye is usually associated with envy, jealousy, or longing. The classic example: a childless woman, for instance, may gaze with yearning at a baby, and this results in the child being affected by the evil eye. The woman isn’t really “evil” in the contemporary sense of the word.

As for the title of Dr. Dundes’ essay, he associates traditional affliction by the evil eye with becoming parched, dried-out, and drought, true to the Middle Eastern origins of the symbol, where fresh water may be more precious than rubies and pearls.“Google” him for a really fascinating read.

Silver Evil Eye

And meanwhile, have yourself a nice, cool glass of water—hydration is key!—and check out our great collection of eye jewelry. Think of it as a “protective” eye watching over us all.

HAMSA JEWELRY= PROTECTION

Tattoo Hamsa Necklace

One of our most popular jewelry motifs is the Hamsa, or protective hand. This icon is used as an amulet by many Middle Eastern people.

Of course, we see it created in silver, gold, bronze, diamonds, pewter, glass, as a personal ornament. I have also seen it woven into lush Turkish rugs, and painted on gorgeous
fountain-tiles in North Africa. As you know from previous blogs, especially in the desert, protection and well-being are linked symbolically to having easy access to water.

I have heard the Hamsa called the Hand of Miriam, as well as the Hand of Fatima, depending upon who wears it.  I have seen it displayed with the fingers pointing up, and pointing down, although the fingers pointing down in my experience is more common.

Middle Eastern Hamsa Necklace

Sometimes, as in our alluring “Middle Eastern Necklace” (our item # art-m), the hand and fingers are stylized to abstraction, though we know the protective powers are still there!

It’s intriguing to know that the icon of the hand extends beyond our immediate frame of cultural reference. “The Mano Poderosa”, or Hand of Power, is often portrayed in Latin Roman Catholic sacred art, especially religious art from Spain and Mexico.

Abhaya MudraAnd check this out: the Mudra (hand-position) of Protection, known to Hindus and Buddhists as the Abhaya
Mudra. Portrayals of the Buddha often depict his right hand in this sheltering, yet liberating gesture, which is often translated from the Sanskrit to mean  “Fear not”.

Scholars say that Buddha first made
this gesture when he became enlightened. Prophets and saints of many other spiritual paths also are often depicted with their right hand in this position.

Coincidence? Doesn’t seem likely.
In any case, enjoy this universal symbol of protection from harm.Image of a Mudra Hand