Ο τοπικός πολιτισμός της περιοχής των Τζουμέρκων
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Magic Enchantments

Ways of dealing with the evil eye

Someone would get water from the tap and pour it in a glass. Then they’d get a wooden cross that’s been held in a church for forty days and insert it in the glass. After a few moments they’d look for small bubbles. If bubbles appeared then this meant that the child had been struck by the evil eye. As a cure the child would drink some water and then be put to sleep. Finally a family would drink the remainder of the water or throw it into the fire.

Another way to get rid of the evil eye was to use charcoal. They’d burn a stick and when it turned into charcoal they’d shred it into small pieces and after doing a cross they’d assign a suspect’s name on every piece of charcoal. A suspect was a person that may have casted the evil spell on the child. Finally if the pieces of charcoal floated on a water surface then this meant that the child had not been victim of the evil eye.

Frederiki Roka. Folklore collection of Palaiochori Syrrako settlement. Student Manuscripts, Folklore Studies, School of Philosophy, University of Ioannina, Series 5, 1968-1969.

As for curing oral thrush my grandmother once told me they’d do something different. She’d take three pieces of charcoal and a glass of water. When the stars came out she’d go outside. And she’d tell me that you would have to insert the charcoal into the glass and say: “The thrush and the star went to town. The star came back but the thrush stayed behind.” But you’d had to say this three times with three pieces od charcoal. But I’d explain to my grandmother that the reaction in the water wasn’t due to a spell. It was due to the ashes leftover from the charcoal as it dissolved. Then you’d have to take some of the water and apply it to your mouth and leave it for some time. You wouldn’t swallow but the water would burn your mouth because it was something like lye. My grandmother would do a cross over the water. When the water went cold she’d apply the water only, not the charcoal, on the mouth which would soothe the thrush.

Areti Makris, Resident of Matsouki, July 2012.