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The Meaning Of Máti

We have an endless fascination with historic amulets of luck, fortune and protection found around the world.  Our favourite is the beautiful blue eye symbol known to the Greeks as “máti”, to the Turkish as “nazar”. It is revered from the Eastern Mediterranean to North Africa to the Middle East for its ability to protect and shield one from the forces of the “evil eye”, from curses and spells, from bad luck and ill fortune. They are found hanging over doorways, worn as jewelry, decorating  pottery, featured in murals – virtually anywhere a little protection is needed. Reputedly the eye symbol “bounces back” any bad luck or evil thoughts to the source, thus protecting the wearer. The history fascinates us of course, and whether one believes in it or not – it is a sweet tradition to give these as gifts to those you love and want to keep from harm’s way. Further, despite its ancient roots the graphic impression this symbol makes is quite modern - bold, cool and universal. Today the máti has become a cult-like symbol, appropriated and appreciated in creative ways far superceding its origins. One example - in Cappadocia in Eastern Turkey this tree has been memorably decorated with a plethora of brilliant blue evil eyes, casting good fortune for miles around. Amulets like the máti may bring you luck. More likely they will bring a smile to your face - and perhaps a gleam of hope.