Ojo de Venado
We found it fascinating when we asked a young mother in Puerto Vallarta about the bracelet on her newborn and discovered it was to ward off envy.
Ojo de Venado or Deer Eye in English, is a special seed, usually attached with a soft piece of red yarn. The child wears it until it falls off. You see surfers and divers with special necklaces and bracelets; taxi drivers and, well…anyone with an auto, with rosaries dangling from the rear view mirror. There are many talismans in Puerto Vallarta, but babies are considered especially vulnerable and have their own brand. These bracelets are seen on wee ones of all economic levels, and you can rely on loving aunties to keep the tradition going.
Many cultures share the belief that envy is a powerful emotion and can be harmful for a person who is being coveted. Nip it in the bud and make sure baby is protected with the eye of a deer, which keeps the child safe from many bad things.
Most of us love babies and many are simply curious to have a peek at a new arrival. In Puerto Vallarta, make sure your inquisitiveness is accompanied by genuine admiration. It’s not prohibitive to touch the infant’s hand or perhaps the blanket they’re wrapped in, to make sincere contact. We always ask for permission to actually hold the baby because doing so is a sure sign of respect; even if only for a quick moment, and then handing her back to her parent, or on to another admirer.
Mexican parents are inclined to believe that babies are little sponges, soaking up whatever sentiments are directed towards them. The Ojo de Venado will make sure that anyone gazing upon the innocent newborn with any thoughts that might be damaging is going to be thwarted. On the other hand, those of us who pay attention in a loving and kind way will also be absorbed; this will inform the infant there are people in the world who are to be trusted and are willing to provide comfort. North of the border, it’s usually expected to ooh and ah over a new arrival, but you would rarely ask to hold someone’s baby, and touching is simply out of the question. However, when attending events in Puerto Vallarta where newborns are present, proper behavior and interaction are much different and a lot more fun.
Que es cómo es.