I Lost my Father’s Cornuto…

…when I was 13, still in Junior High School on Long Island,

I wore it on a gold bracelet. The horn was my Grandfather’s. I never met my Grandfather. Always the loyal daughter, I wore it everywhere to celebrate my love for my Dad and his love for his Dad.

Then one day it was just gone. I looked everywhere. Called my parents from the phone boothcornuto on the first floor near the guidance office to confess and cry. I heard the disappointment in my father’s voice.  I’m recently wondering how the loss of the Cornuto affected all of our luck. We were no longer protected from the evil eye and every red blooded Italian immigrant knows that the evil eye was EVERYWHERE! I also wondering how the loss of the Cornuto effected my Father. This is too weird to try to investigate but as I am reading about the Cornuto.  Because without the Evil Eye:

“is believed to harm nursing mothers and their babies, bearing fruit trees, milking animals, and the sperm of men — the forces of generation. The Neapolitan custom of making cornuto charms from silver (formerly sacred to the moon goddess Luna) and blood coral (formerly sacred to the sea goddess Venus) hints at the cultural survival of a link between the horned animal head and ancient worship of a neolithic-era mother- or fertility-goddess whose consort was a male deity sometimes called the Horned God. Whether or not this is the case, the cornuto is still a popular amulet worn by Italian men to protect their genitalia from the evil eye.”


“The evil eye is the name for a sickness transmitted — usually without intention — by someone who is envious, jealous, or covetous. It is also called the invidious eye and the envious eye. In Hebrew it is ayin ha’ra (the evil eye), which in Yiddish is variously spelled ayin horoh, ayin hora, or ayen hara. In mainland Italian it is mal occhio (the bad eye) and in Spanish mal ojo or el ojo (the bad eye or just the eye). In Sicily it is jettatore (the projection [from the eye]) and in Farsi it is bla band (the eye of evil)The evil eye belief is that a person — otherwise not malific in any way — can harm you, your children, your livestock, or your fruit trees, by *looking at them* with envy and praising them. The word “evil” is unfortunate in this context because it implies that someone has “cursed” the victim, but such is not the case. A better understanding of the term “evil eye” is gained if you know that the old British and Scottish word for it is “overlooking,” which implies merely that the gaze has remained too long upon the coveted object, person, or animal. In other words, the effect of the evil eye is misfortunate, but the person who harbours jealousy and gives the evil eye is not necessarily an evil person per se.”


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