Step 2 of 4
Twist on wrist
Aside from offering protection against winti, sarpusu can also offer protection against ogri ai, or the evil eye.
Imagine your newborn baby suddenly falling sick. It loses sleep, cries a lot, vomits, and acts strangely. What could be the reason? Perhaps your baby has fallen ill because of the evil eye. This eveil eye can make people fall sick, and in the worst case even kill them. Certain groups, such as young children and pregnant women, are especially vulnerable to the evil eye. Obviously, you do not want this to happen to your child. But how do you protect your child from the eyes of others? A lot of people will be visiting and looking at your newborn, and when you go out in the streets people might look at your baby for too long, especially if it’s a beautiful baby…
One of the ways to protect a child from the evil eye, is by having it wear accessories that ward it off. One of these accessories is the golden pin shown above, that is adorned with black ogri ai beads. However, such a pin is expensive – too expensive for many. A more affordable alternative is to make a bracelet from sarpusu. Not much fabric is needed; a small strip of about 15 centimetres (6 inches) in length should be enough. The fabric is then twisted and immediately tied around either the baby’s wrist or ankle. This way, the fabric will stay twisted. The child will wear this bracelet or anklet for about three to four years. Once the parent decides it is not necessary to wear it anymore, it is cut off.
The power of the bracelet does not stop there, however. After being cut off, the bracelet is treasured, as it plays an important role in farewell ceremonies later on. A bracelet or anklet worn by her child will be placed in the mother’s coffin when she passes away. This way, she will be protected after death. If the child is unable to attend the funeral, and therefore unable to put the bracelet in the coffin, another bracelet will be put in its place. This bracelet, which replaces the traditional blue bracelet, is made of white linen. For each child that cannot be not there, a bracelet is made. It is made the same way as the blue baby bracelet; a piece of the white linen is ripped off, twisted, and then tied together. Through this bracelet, the physical absence of child is replaced by a spiritual presence.