The article is about modern views of rural population on spells ('the evil eye'). It is based on interviews conducted with middle age and the oldest generation of inhabitants of several villages near Tarnów. The authoress tries to find out how the phenomenon of spells functions in the consciousness of the inhabitants of the villages in this region. The article describes their knowledge of spells - why and how they are cast, their consequences and how they can be undone. The analysis also focuses on the attitude to that phenomenon. The informers believe in spells, but in their opinion they are much less frequent today. Reasons for their disappearance can be found in the impact of contemporary social and cultural changes. All respondents are familiar with the symptoms and the actual occurrences of spells. However, only a few respondents have a deeper knowledge of those magical practices. Magical formulae accompanying spell and their undoing have also been forgotten.
Anna Piechnik, Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, Katedra Lingwistyki Kulturowej i Socjolingwistyki, ul. Golebia 16, 31-007 Kraków, Poland
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