This seems to be a reference to amulets that were intended to protect against the evil eye, rather than as a means of blinding Native Americans. The idea that certain individuals, simply through a baleful stare, are able to curse people, animals and even inanimate objects, was — and in many cases, still is — widespread across numerous cultures. To allay this threat, people wore protective talismans in a dazzling array of forms. Those resembling the eye itself are best-known, but hamsas (hand-shaped symbols), fascinums (phallic symbols), crucifixes, fish, seahorses and more have also been used. Though Puritans claimed to have purged themselves of the idolatrous superstition they attributed to the Church of England, their belief that the devil could exert his dire influence through the evil eye and witchcraft shows this was far from being the case.