The Hiaki word puhtua means “to give someone the evil eye” and in Hiaki culture it describes causing an ill effect on someone with a look, though this look does not have to be with the intent of causing harm. The word can be broken up into two parts: puh- which comes from puusim, meaning “eye”, and –tua, which is the causative morpheme.
There is a large psychological aspect to the power that these strong looks contain. Thus, if you fear a curse has been put upon you or your child and you become stressed and worried sick in anticipation, then indeed you have been cursed. However, if you ignore any stares you might receive and you do not believe in curses, then you’ll (probably!) be fine.
Hiaki mothers with newborn babies are advised to expose their infants only to the closest family members and not take the baby outside in case of any negative emotions and energy that could have a harmful effect. Even if someone wishes no harm upon your baby, they can still make the baby sick by looking at it for too long. Sometimes you can’t help staring at a newborn because they’re just so cute, but in doing so you risk making them ill. Because of this it’s considered impolite to look at a baby with more than just a quick glance.
As a form of protection, some Hiakis wear what is called a maso puusim, or a “deer eye”. Among the many remedies used to protect babies, maso puusim is a small charm worn by both young and old for protection from strong negativity. If a baby does become sick due to a strong or lengthy look, a mother can cure and protect the child by touching its forehead and saying a small blessing, though this will only work if the mother has no doubt in her heart.