Yesterday on our excursion to save our luggage, we were driven to Tunis and back by a very nice guy. Hanging from his rearview mirror was a decorated, dried fishtail! It was not a fake but the real, deal, sprinkled with sparkles, wrapped with pink ribbon at the top and decorated with pink glass gems. Anyone who desires a decorated fishtail here can purchase one in the medina, our driver told us. I had thought that maybe it was made by his young daughter and he felt obligated to hang it. Apparently, it wards off the evil eye and brings good luck and prosperity to the one who hangs it or, I guess, to the vehicle in which it hangs. Given the somewhat loose road rules where cars use lane lines as suggestions and pass only after creeping within a meter of the car in front, perhaps a hanging fishtail is not a bad idea. It is reminiscent of the dyed rabbit foot on key chains of my youth. I have done my best google research and have yet to find a good explanation of why the fishtail is a good luck charm, but have noted that the Berbers are not alone in thinking so. The fish or some part of it also has some meaning in Buddhism, Judaism and Chinese lore to name a few. Next time we catch a fish I won't be letting the tail dry out in the sun to hang in our cockpit, but I might think about it before cutting it off and throwing it back into the sea where it will be a free meal (and good luck) for the fish that eats it.
|At first I thought it was a feather but, no, a real fishtail, hanging in the car! Not sure what kind or if it has to be a specific kind to bring the luck. Just a generic fish will do, I suspect.|