The last time we were out sailing we had collected a bouy to tie to at Yassica Adasi and I was busy ashore building an island shelter. Mum came over on a paddle board and for a while helped by finding and collecting some longer branches and boughs. On one of these branches, tangled up in the smaller twigs at the end mum found a small black leather pouch, attached to a leather thong. It looked a little like a pirates eyepatch, but it was padded, kind of as if it had been stuffed. She put it around her neck.
Later back on the boat mum had been to find her sailing knife and carefully began to cut the stitches to the ” pouch” praising open the two leather edges carefully. There was something inside it.
We were all excited to see tiny wrapped packages stuffed into the small leather pouch, but then as brains started whirring and each of us realized just what these packages might be, we became a little worried…. Mum was about ready to launch the whole thing then and there back into the sea.
We carried on picking out tiny packages. Carefully with a sharp knife we could cut away the Sellotape which was wrapped around and around each ” package” as we carefully prized apart what was meant to be the waterproof covering we discovered pages of written script. The language in which it was written looked like nothing we had ever seen before. Arabic perhaps, ancient?
There were several pages wrapped up individually. Each appeared to have been written by a different hand and each was folded tightly into a tiny bundle. We left them to dry in the sun, took some photographs and decided to try and find out somehow what the papers said.
On our return to Fethiye mum spoke to a friend of hers who knows five languages, she showed her a picture of the writings and explained how we had found them. Mums friend couldn’t translate the language but said that yes, it did look like Arabic. She also explained that the pouch could perhaps hold bad magic, and should be thrown back into the sea as salt water would cleanse it! Hmmm…. Fascinating! Not perturbed by the threat of “bad magic”, we at least had something to go on now to find out more about the item.
A quick google that day, for magic pouch, prayer pouch, healing pouch…. eventually lead us to this discovery: A Ta wiz https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ta%27wiz the Wikipedia article describes it as a prayer amulet, a thing for protection. So now we had two opposing views, one of bad magic and one of protection.
Again that evening we spoke to another Turkish friend. Bel was quite wary of the Ta wiz to start with but looked across a couple of the pages and pointed out a couple of Turkish words written neatly across the top of one of the small pages. ” Her zaman bu aşınma ” was written at the top of one piece and she physically relaxed as she explained that this held definitely good magic, as those words meant, ” wear me always. Even though the magic is good these prayer pouches are specific to the person they are written for, that said, keeping it would really not benefit anyone other than whom it was made. Bel insisted too that it should be cast back to the sea.
A couple of days later, mum found some time to re wrap the written pages of prayer, tightly folding them up and sellotaping the tiny packages back together she re stuffed the pouch and then re sealed that too. Without thinking too much about it at the time, she drew back her arm ( her injured arm, which since the diving injury back in the summer has caused her daily pain ) and threw the Ta wiz out into the bay, as she threw the pouch away she said, ” and I’m throwing away this arm injury too……”
Well it would be completely bizarre to suggest that just that has helped to heal mums arm because she recently started a course of intense massage therapy too, but her arm is better and she hasn’t taken pain killers since!
The Tawiz is worn by some Muslims, to protect them from evil. In Turkey, the Tawiz is called a Muska.
My late birthday and early Christmas present turned up with Geoffs return from England too. A beautiful bracelet a little like a Pandora where, instead of collecting charms you collect ” steps” and each step is a country which you have visited. “Small steps” can be collected to, so States or Cities for example can make up your bracelet.
I love my El Camino bracelet but there is a problem. I really, really like the coconut spacers which each Step comes with and which should be placed along with your step on the bracelet but when I put all my visited countries into the bracelet there was absolutely no room fora single spacer! It’s also slightly concerning that now I can’t visit anymore countries!!!!!!!! Maybe it’s time for a double string bracelet huh?
https://elcaminobracelets.com/ Your travel memories will never leave you.