What is obeah

And with a formless roar of killing-rage, Stern swung on the obeahwith the rifle.

Obeah: Resurgence of Jamaican 'Voodoo'

But already, with a chattering howl, the obeah was running forward. Up he brought the automatic, till the bead lay fair upon the naked, muscular breast of the obeah. Stern saw a little round bluish hole take shape in the obeah 's ear, and red drops start.

Advertisement top definitions quizzes related content examples explore dictionary british obeah. Take this quiz on the Words of the Day from April 6—12 to find out! Also obi. Words nearby obeah obduceobductionobduracyobdurateobeobeahobecheobedienceobedience trainingobedience trialobedient.

Words related to obeah witchcraftabracadabranecromancyenchantmenthoodoospellsorcerydivinationalchemycharmhocus-pocusjinxdevilrywitcherywizardryobiconjuring. Example sentences from the Web for obeah And with a formless roar of killing-rage, Stern swung on the obeahwith the rifle. Darkness and Dawn George Allan England.Later the girl learns that her grandmother has died at that very moment In Jamaica, a dying woman warns her husband that if he mistreats their son, she will come back to haunt him.

He remarries and has a second family. Then his first wife begins showing up at the front gate. The night fishermen see her, standing there in the same white dress in which she was married and buried. It is not until her husband sets down rules for his second wife concerning the upbringing of the first wife's son that the ghost vanishes.

With it are slips of paper bearing the names, birth dates and addresses of certain people. Those mourner,: who are named flee the scene in panic. They know they were expected to suffocate and die within nine days, like the chicken that was to have bean buried with the body.

This is obeah, the black magic of the Caribbean. A person might turn to obeah if he yearns to see his competitor's business fold, or if he wants to clinch a promotion, or if he needs spell that will make him irresistible to the opposite sex.

Man's scientific advancements may have taken him to the moon, but witchcraft remains alive and hexing in the West Indies. Peace of mind is still something to be worn around your neck. Tourists seldom realize how powerful and persistent this obeah, or necromancy, is throughout the Caribbean islands. Brought over centuries ago by African slaves, it has thrived, enhanced by superstitions prevalent among Scotch and Irish Highlanders, interlaced with Christian ritual and aided by an expert botanical knowledge inherited from the Carib Indians.

Obeah is a private pursuit, something just between a fellow and his fears. Since obeah is technically illegal on most islands, its believers maintain a conspiracy of silence. Caribbean obeahmen live in seclusion in the bush, out of the eye of the law, which is forever on their trail. They speak in unknown tongues, which not even they themselves can always understand.

what is obeah

Their powers can both heal and harm and are for hire by rich, poor, black and white. Obeah or Obecyahism is not to be confused with the formalized rites of Haiti's more familiar voodoo. Obeah has no creed or organized service of worship. In the language of the Ashanti, obay'fo meant wizard, and obi in East Africa meant sorcery or fetishism. The etymology has been traced to ancient Egyptian mythology in which ob or aub mean serpent.

Moses warned the Israelites not to recognize the demon Ob, translated in the Bible as divinator or sorcerer. Peace of mind in the West Indies is something to be worn around the neck to ward off the jumbies. Whatever its sources, obeah drove the West Indian sugar magnates right up the plantation walls. When Africans were shipped to the New World, they were forced to relinquish language, culture and religion.It is a belief. An African tradition.

A human tradition. Obeah is Egyptian. Obeah is Ashanti. Obeah is Hebrew. Obeah is Jamaican. Many statements can describe Obeah but all will only touch upon small facets. They are the reflective faces of a diamond. We see only what is shown back if we gaze into one face. Obeah is a religious practice based on a combination of multiple religions—a creolization of religions, so to speak.

It draws on elements of African religion and also reinterprets and "Africanizes" Christian practices. In some regions of the Caribbean, elements of Indigenous and south Indian religions have been incorporated into the practice as well. Sitting at the intersection of politics and spirituality, obeah has been described as the "magical art of resistance" because it gave its practitioners and those that sought its aid a sense of empowerment in the face of oppression.

Despite the constraints and violence of colonial rule, many obeah practitioners assumed positions of power within their communities and were respected and revered, by both their communities and European colonists who feared the power of obeah.

The first path falls within the realm of the 'supernatural'— it involves the art of casting spells, the warding off of evil, the conjuring of luck and wealth, and the protection of oneself and others. Colonists recognized this path as threatening to their control of enslaved peoples, given that this supernatural power was often wielded in the name of retaliation for violence against enslaved Africans.

This shift of power and fear is integral to understanding obeah as a means of resistance. The second related path of obeah concerns medical authority and involves the knowledge and use of certain plants and animal products to heal illnesses, albeit in a manner not given credence by European colonials. This set of knowledge practices was likely influenced by Indigenous Caribbeans, who had a deep knowledge of the medicinal nature of the flora and fauna of the Caribbean. This aspect of obeah was generally seen as less threatening than its supernatural force, but as evident in the Narrative of Hercules from A Voyage To the Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S Christophers and Jamaica by Hans Sloane, it was the subject of mockery and ridicule among European writers.

Skip to content What is Obeah? Obeah is often understood to follow two, interrelated, paths in its practice: The first path falls within the realm of the 'supernatural'— it involves the art of casting spells, the warding off of evil, the conjuring of luck and wealth, and the protection of oneself and others.

Image by Kelly Hawes.A form of religious belief of African origin, involving sorcery and practiced in Jamaica, some other parts of the West Indies, and nearby tropical America.


Switch to new thesaurus. Mentioned in? References in periodicals archive? My family felt that Obeah 8 could save my grandmother from death.

Duppies are central to the obeah religion of Jamaica and are traditionally "called or summoned as helpers in the process of revealing mysteries, affording protection, or inflicting harm" Fernandez Olmos and Paravisini-Gebert Dalma is a sexually manipulative, vaguely threatening Creole woman who practices obeah from her home in the shadowy mangrove swamps of an unnamed island.

Haiti and the black box of romanticism. Broaddus, a writer whose work has appeared in publications from Asimov's Science Fiction to Apex Magazine, brings a less-heard perspective to speculative fiction, infusing his stories with African words and concepts, Jamaican obeah Cabibbean folk magicand other rich cultural sources. The Voices of Martyrs. The next chapter, by Danielle Boaz, also uses legal colonial archives to emphasize the role played by "implements of Obeah " in the negotiation and renegotiation of cultural identity and in the resistance against social control in colonial Jamaica.

Materialities of Ritual in the Black Atlantic. In this region of the world, magic goes by the names of: ObeahVoodoo, and Santeria. Abstract: "'Haunted and Obeah ': Gothic Spaces and Monstrous Landscapes in Jean Rhys's Voyage in the Dark" Born in Dominica to a Welsh father and a mother of Creole descent, Jean Rhys's identity as a white Creole expatriate endows her novels with a sense of profound alienation, especially from the landscape.


There is a plethora of themes that revolve around obeahreligious beliefs, sexual and economic exploitation of women by members of the planter class and Blacks in privileged positions. Dictionary browser? Full browser?Obeah originated with Saulot in his travels in the East learning from the Kuei-jin the use of the Dragon Pearl. Learning Obeah causes a third eye to develop in the middle of one's forehead.

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The third eye is said to bestow "sight beyond sight" and enable the Salubri to see the threads of life and death around them. Once their abilities to restore lost vitality and cleanse individuals of taints of both the body and the soul earned the Salubri awe and respect, but after years of Tremere propaganda the use of Obeah became more associated with soul-stealing and infernalism. It has long remained a closely guarded secret of the once-proud clanand is all but forgotten in the Modern Nights by vampiric society.

Upon taking the first level of Valeren a Cainite must choose which line of powers to pursue. An individual can attempt to learn both Paths, but the secondary Path is harder to master as its focus contradicts the first.

In Vampire: The Dark Ages, each level beyond the first of the secondary Path costs an additional experience point. In Vampire: The Masqueradethe Path of the Healer is called Obeah and the Warrior Paths is called Valeren, and there are no special rules for learning both beyond having an available teacher. Sources are described below in the order they were printed. The Dark Ages version of this discipline is similar to the Revised versionexcept that the third through fifth levels are increased by one level and a new third level power is added.

The V20 version is based on the Dark Ages version, but also increases the levels of the revised edition advanced powers by one level each to match the trend previously set.

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Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Do you like this video? Contents [ show ]. Art by Andrew Trabbold. Anesthetic Touch. Art by Mark Nelson. Healing Touch. Art Glenn Osterberger. Neutral Guard. Art by William O'Connor. Art by Nicole Cardiff. Treat the Sick Mind. Art by Mathias Kollros. The Ailing Spirit. Art by Aaron Acevedo. Unburdening the Bestial Soul.

what is obeah

Art by Durwin Talon. Safe Passage. Art by Jim Di Bartolo.

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Renewed Vigor. Art by Becky Cloonan. Vitae Block.

What is Obeah?

Art by Jim Nelson.A form of folk magic, medicine or witchcraft originating in Africa and practiced in parts of the Caribbean.

Origin: Origin uncertain. Apparently from a Caribbean creole, probably ultimately from a West African language. Obeah is a term used in the West Indies to refer to folk magic, sorcery, and religious practices derived from West African, and specifically Igbo origin. Obeah is associated with both benign and malignant magic, charms, luck, and with mysticism in general. In some Caribbean nations, Obeah refers to folk religions of the African diaspora. In some cases, aspects of these folk religions have survived through syncretism with Christian symbolism and practice introduced by European colonials and slave owners.

Casual observation may conclude that Christian symbolism is incorporated into Obeah worship, but in fact may represent clandestine worship and religious protest. During slavery, Obeah was directed against the European slave masters. However, with the rise of Christianity, Obeah is considered a taboo, and the term has pejorative associations. Word in Definition.

what is obeah

Princeton's WordNet 4. Wiktionary 0. Webster Dictionary 0. Freebase 0.

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Chambers 20th Century Dictionary 0. How to pronounce Obeah? Alex US English. Daniel British. Karen Australian. Veena Indian. How to say Obeah in sign language? Select another language:. Powered by CITE. Are we missing a good definition for Obeah?

Obeah Is a Fact of Life, and Afterlife, in the Caribbean

Don't keep it to yourself Submit Definition.Just like the people and language of the Caribbean, the practice is unique to its place, as the result of mixing cultures and circumstances due to colonization. While Obeah is not uniform or universal in its practice, it is inclusive. Because of the endless iterations of cultures, ethnicities, and colonizers coming together, all with different roots and belief systems, it would be nearly impossible to have uniformity in any way within the Obeah community.

Instead, it sought out acceptance of all practices of Obeah. Thus resulting in greater harmony and a sense of solidarity against colonizer rule. In this way, maps can be incredibly helpful in understanding how people traveled across the Atlantic and arrived in the Caribbean.

what is obeah

Still, what is critical to remember is that the movement was never final, and many people including the colonists, free Black people, and enslaved people, continued to travel across the Caribbean and the rest Americas after reaching their original destination.

With that, practices, religions, and cultures changed and continued to influence one another in limitless permutations. This undoubtedly influenced how Obeah was shaped and how it was taken up.

For us, it becomes clear that given the nature of the archive more broadly it might be hard to definitively trace influences in their entirety and accurately; however, maps and other archival artifacts might continue to help point us in the right direction.

Using digital tools and what Saidaya Hartmann coined as " critical fabulation " in her work " Venus in Two Acts " published in Small Axe we can begin to imagine how Obeah came to be in the Caribbean. Where can we trace the practice back to in Africa? Obeah originates from native West African religions but can claim roots in almost anywhere or anything.

Practice can be traced back to the enslaved and the Maroons of Jamaica, but its practice extends throughout the Caribbean in places like Guyana where Indian influence is most present and through Latin America and South America. How might maps and visualizations help us better understand? This map shows the routes of the slave trade as Africans were enslaved and sent to the Americas, it gives us insight into how cultures and practices combined as Africans from across the continent met with one another and the indigenous people that were living in the Americas.

Understanding the religion and practices at the origins and where they were sent to might give us insight into what manifested as they came together. What are the alternatives to maps and the archive in discovering Obeah's origins? A sometimes overlooked resource are the oral histories, local knowledges, and other knowledge forms known by today's Caribbean people.

Many of them know their ancestor's lives and stories that have been passed down, giving a more specific understanding of the practices of Obeah in the early Caribbean.

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Not only does this give us a sense of how Obeah came to form and from wherebut it also gives us a better sense of how it was a part of the everyday lives of the practitioners, and how individuals made the religion their own. This further opens avenues for understanding how Obeah proliferated across the Caribbean. In undertaking this research with these live subjects, it is important to be careful of how one classifies and contextualizes it— in order to avoid replicating the horrors of colonial knowledge extraction from the Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people in the Caribbean,it is important to give proper credit to the speaker and to regard their stories not just as 'hearsay' or otherwise, but to treat it as valid, intellectual, and valuable information.

Although we cannot undo what has already been done, taking up decolonial practices and methodologies in one's pushes us into a better direction, and ensures a more positive future for the study.

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