What is the "Evil Eye?"
It is a curse transmitted through an evil glare, usually one inspired by envy. The envy in turn manifests itself as a curse that will undo their good fortune.
A Greek philosopher suggested a scientific explanation:
The human eye had the power of releasing invisible rays of energy that were, in some cases, potent enough to kill children or small animals.
Is Kajal harmful... or harmless?
Although kajal has been found to contain lead and thus harmful for babies, an analysis of various samples found in Egyptian tombs proved otherwise.
By recreating ancient recipes, reported by Greco-Roman authors, scientists were able to test the effects of lead compounds on skin cells. The study showed that the lead compounds found in kohl did in fact serve a significant medical function.
Alternative Methods for warding off Evil Eye for Newborns:
- Tie a black thread around the left ankle
- Tie a black beaded amulet around the wrist/ankle
- Keep the milk bottle covered
- Nurse the baby in private
In addition to newborns, kajal is also shown on:
- South Indian bride's cheek
- Bharatnatyam Dancers
- Goddess Kali
- Kathakali Dancers