Tag Archives: evil eye

costume magic

Akhnif

An akhnif is a cloak worn in Morocco by Jewish and Berber males. The eye shape is thought to be protection against the evil eye.

Akhnif from Textile Museum of Canada

Akhnif from the Jewish Moroccan Heritage Museum

Akhnif from Marrakesh Express

Boy’s brown akhnif…The narrow, long henna-dyed “lens” unambiguously represents a vulva. It is the symbol for the mother who all her life “carries her son in her womb” and lovingly hopes to protect him with this cape.

From ‘Berber Carpets of Morocco: The Symbols Origin and Meaning’ By Bruno Barbatti.

magic

Eyebrow painting of North African women

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All from Harquus: North African Women’s Traditional Body Art Volume 2: Paint (pdf) by Catherine Cartwright-Jones.

“A person with thick, black eyebrows can see better in very bright light, and will be less likely to squint. Eyebrow paint may have had the same function as sunglasses, while accenting expressive eyebrow movement.

I think I prefer the explanation from Catherine’s Introduction to Harquus Part 2: Kohl and Surma (pdf):

“Some women believed that blackening their eyelids and eyebrows would protect them from the glance of the Evil Eye, and also prevent them from transmitting the Evil Eye to another person.”

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