Romani culture

The evil eye – Jakhendar

The belief in jakhendar ‘the evil eye’ is widespread among the Roma in Slovakia. It represents an ex­ample of magical thinking which is common still today. Curse by the evil eye is generally caused by the look of a person during which evil forces are transmitted through his or her eyes to the affected person who as a result feels weak or uneasy. These signs of being cursed are diagnosed during a ritual by means of jagalo paňi ‘coal water’, prepared by the ritual leader.

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