Superstition: Do you believe?

Should we consider superstition believers a historical and traditional practice of their ancestors, or a mythical belief, per se, mind over matter that cures where science have not yet debunk as of today? Hindus mostly believe in superstition. In Guyana, superstition is widely a profession for the Bush doctor who deal with Bush medicines, and the witch doctor that perform healing rituals. 

Amazingly,  this belief and practice is still carried out in America among families who still follow this tradition very strongly. Once again I have to touch on Hindus because most recently a Hindu priest "aka" pandit, carried out a ritual for a family who believes something strange has happen to them.

Whatever the family claimed has nothing to do with sickness or health, but because three of the family members have lost their jobs. The pandit open "book" and told them that the neighbor had thrown "something" in the family yard, and that he has to perform a ritual to get rid of it.

The ritual was performed and did not yield any positive result three months after.

Is this a coincidence that three members of one family lost their job suddenly?

Was the pandit advise and actions deemed improper? 

How can we be sure if the neighbor did throw something and what is It?

Is this a belief that

cause people to spend unnecessary resources and steer them away from God or prayer?

Do we have folks on GNI that actually believe in superstitions?

 

 

 

 

 

Original Post

I do follow some of the old people advice from back home.

(a) Make sure the sink is clean of dishes at nights before going to bed. I was told by my mother and my grandmother, that the Angels visit the homes at night .

(b) If coming home very late at night always enter the house backwards. My wife use to make me do that whenever we were coming home late at nights with my daughter when she was a baby.

(c) Put a scissors under the mattress of the crib. Suppose to keep the baby safe at nights. We did that too for my kids. My daughter does not believe it so she has not done that to her son

Avoid pundits who open "book".  They will fleece your bank account. Not only do you convince them that you are superstitious but that you are a fool. He will no doubt cause bad blood between the neighbors. They are also known to cause family feuds. 

 

Django posted:

I can't believe in modern day,people cling to such beliefs.

I am very cautious of superstitious folks,wouldn't drink a glass of water from them.

So you wouldn't drink a glass of water from them even if are dying from thirsty? I think you believe in abyah to not want to drink water from superstition folks. Isn't that so, Django?

Cobra posted:
Django posted:

I can't believe in modern day,people cling to such beliefs.

I am very cautious of superstitious folks,wouldn't drink a glass of water from them.

So you wouldn't drink a glass of water from them every if are dying from thirsty? I think you believe in abyah to not want to drink water from superstition folks. Isn't that so, Django?

Django is speaking figuratively.

Cobra posted:
Django posted:

I can't believe in modern day,people cling to such beliefs.

I am very cautious of superstitious folks,wouldn't drink a glass of water from them.

So you wouldn't drink a glass of water from them even if are dying from thirsty? I think you believe in abyah to not want to drink water from superstition folks. Isn't that so, Django?

Bhai,

I don't believe in Obeah,i am more worried what they will laced the drink or food with,i saw how some people were fooled by these so called healers.

Any one who thinks they can send some evil things to disturb Django,send um i will deal wit um good and prappa.

My family and my self will discuss these things,they are ahead of the game to be fooled.

Mitwah posted:

Avoid pandits who tell you that you have "grah".  Nau Graha Devtas are demons. When you perform Nau Graha puja you are worshipping and pacifying demonic beings. Real God does not need to be pacified. Samjhe?

I went to a home of a woman not far from where I am living. Supposedly she is Hindu. I drop off cooked good and parsad, banana, apple, ect., for a neighbor. When I enter the yard, they have different color flags, and many black flags also. I don't like to see black flags, especially in Hindu homes.    

To my surprised, she do pujass once a week for her believers and tell them what to do after. This has become a never-ending rituals for the devotees.

She also play as if she is possessed and answer devotees questions about love and marriage. Right or wrong, they believe. Make me think I am in the wrong profession.                               

To make a long story short, my neighbor still have more questions than answers. Again, most Hindus believe in obyahman for health, wealth, husbands, wives, happiness and gyam good jerra. 

I do not believe in it or support it. Be cautions of folks who will try to cheat you.

But there are books dealing with this matter.

1. Indrajal, I have read it and it is very, very powerful. That's all that I can say on this book. I gave it away after reading it. It creates a very negative atmosphere, almost as if there is a presence.

2. The sixth and seventh books of Moses. Have read it.

 

Cobra posted:
Mitwah posted:

Avoid pandits who tell you that you have "grah".  Nau Graha Devtas are demons. When you perform Nau Graha puja you are worshipping and pacifying demonic beings. Real God does not need to be pacified. Samjhe?

I went to a home of a woman not far from where I am living. Supposedly she is Hindu. I drop off cooked good and parsad, banana, apple, ect., for a neighbor. When I enter the yard, they have different color flags, and many black flags also. I don't like to see black flags, especially in Hindu homes.    

To my surprised, she do pujass once a week for her believers and tell them what to do after. This has become a never-ending rituals for the devotees.

She also play as if she is possessed and answer devotees questions about love and marriage. Right or wrong, they believe. Make me think I am in the wrong profession.                               

To make a long story short, my neighbor still have more questions than answers. Again, most Hindus believe in obyahman for health, wealth, husbands, wives, happiness and gyam good jerra. 

Crooks,keep your distance from such folks,they concoct potions and give people to intake and also lace others foods.

Back home one such crook was purchasing pharmaceuticals for her potion,from my friend Pharmacy,he didn't care much due to making the money.

Django posted:
Cobra posted:
Mitwah posted:

Avoid pandits who tell you that you have "grah".  Nau Graha Devtas are demons. When you perform Nau Graha puja you are worshipping and pacifying demonic beings. Real God does not need to be pacified. Samjhe?

I went to a home of a woman not far from where I am living. Supposedly she is Hindu. I drop off cooked good and parsad, banana, apple, ect., for a neighbor. When I enter the yard, they have different color flags, and many black flags also. I don't like to see black flags, especially in Hindu homes.    

To my surprised, she do pujass once a week for her believers and tell them what to do after. This has become a never-ending rituals for the devotees.

She also play as if she is possessed and answer devotees questions about love and marriage. Right or wrong, they believe. Make me think I am in the wrong profession.                               

To make a long story short, my neighbor still have more questions than answers. Again, most Hindus believe in obyahman for health, wealth, husbands, wives, happiness and gyam good jerra. 

Crooks,keep your distance from such folks,they concoct potions and give people to intake and also lace others foods.

Back home one such crook was purchasing pharmaceuticals for her potion,from my friend Pharmacy,he didn't care much due to making the money.

Bhai, some hot woman must be trying to get you under her wings. Lol

Btw, what is the real jerra that people are talking about? I still can't grasp what is the mystery jerra that women used to get men or to control them.

These are some Nancy Stories that is fun reading. 

Jumbees of Guyana

Updated on March 22, 2015
 
 
A dug out canoe making its way up one of Guyana's many waterways.
A dug out canoe making its way up one of Guyana's many waterways. | Source

What are Jumbees

In the Caribbean the term jumbee, and its many variations of spelling, is a generic term given to all malevolent entities that are often found in folklore. Whether you call them spirits, demons or devils the general idea behind the term is that 'bad' people who have done wrong are destined to become instruments of evil in death. These are not ghosts, the jumbee is not a whispy, smokey or fog like creature, it casts a much darker, more sinister figure.

A jumbee is a collection of entities and not just one specific one. The name and deeds of the jumbee depend entirely on where in the Caribbean it came from. Different cultures have different concepts of jumbees. The various kinds of jumbies found in Guyanese folklore reflect Guyana’s complex history and rich ethnic mosaic, drawing on African, Amerindian, East Indian, Dutch and English mythologies. Some of the stories from various parts of the Caribbean are similar but the names are different.

Many if not all of the Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and more, have long held traditional folklore that includes the jumbee. And many of the older population still hold a belief in them, particularly in Guyana, where long held superstitions and modern day conveniences like cell phone and internet, live side by side.

Now be honest, how many of you thought it was an animal, fruit or person? I thought it was an animal the first time I heard the term.

Below is a small collection of Guyanese jumbee.

Where in the World ...

 
 
 
 
 
  
Mr. Bascom's representation of a Bacoo. One of the finer ones I've seen.
Mr. Bascom's representation of a Bacoo. One of the finer ones I've seen. | Source

Bacoo

Stories abound all over Guyana of the Bacoos existence. Even in Georgetown the capital city of Guyana, the bacoo was not isolated to remote tribes. It may have African roots as the word 'baku' in many African cultures mean little brother or short man, and its word relative 'bacucu', means banana.

The Bacoo is a mythological figure that closely resembles a leprechaun from Irish folklore. It is a dwarf like entity that rewards its 'owner' with wealth untold or answers wishes once fed with a steady and constant supply of milk and bananas. It behaves a little like a poltergeist by causing trouble and moving items, pelting homes with rocks and causing general mayhem.

Bacoo's are mischievous, intelligent and quite devious. A trickster that can shapeshift, make itself unseen and torment those around him. They are mainly active during nighttime hours.

In Guyanese lore one tale is that a rich man kept his bacoo high on a shelf out of eyesight and used a ladder to reach him nightly to feed him his milk and bananas. On the eve that this man had to go out of town, he instructed his servant to feed the beast but to keep his eyes averted. The owner knew how devious and cruel the bacoo could be. When the servant went to feed it, he naturally looked to see what it was that was kept up high on the shelf. He was greeted by a huge black snake that appeared and servant was so startled he fell off the ladder and broke his neck.

Another popular one talks of a pair of invisible rampaging Bacoos that held a village hostage by raining stones over the houses - breaking windows and injuring residents.

My father in law, who is from the Demerara area, specifically the West Coast, talked of two bacoos named Boya and Boysie. They lived in Stewartville, on the old road. If anyone said anything bad about them or even bacoos in general, they would get upset and bad things would happen to whomever said it. It is said, by the older folk that is, that they have caused objects in a house to start flying around and even once covered a man in feces for bad mouthing them.

So what do you do if you have a bacoo hanging around you or picking on you. It is said they can be trapped inside a bottle but not very easily. First something that attracts them must be put into the bottle. Once the bacoo has gone into the bottle, a cork is jammed into the neck to act like a stopper. Once this is accomplished, the bacoo can not escape. These bacoo bottles are then thrown into the ocean or waterways.

If you're in Guyana and you see a corked bottle bobbing on the surface of the water, might be best to leave it be, legends have it that if it does contain a bacoo and you open the bottle, the bacoo will stay with you and you must feed him milk and bananas or incur his wraith.

 

 

Moongazer

The Moongazer only comes out during a full moon. Some accounts indicate a large bonfire could attract its gaze as well. The only thing agreed on in all the stories is that it appears to be an unusually tall man who habitually gazes at the full moon. Though it is also described as muscular, white or dark, standing straddling a road or on the edges of a cliff. In some accounts it is said only its shadow can be seen when cast by the light of the full moon.

The giant moongazer is often accused of terrorizing rural villages by standing with their long legs at either side of the road and hands on hips while they gaze upwards at the full moon. When anyone tries to pass through his legs he quickly shuts them and crushes the person to death.

If you were to draw the moongazers attention, you would find yourself being rushed at before he sucked your brains out through his palm. Many accounts I came across indicated a penchant for killing babies, though no further details I could find.

Rendition of a Choorile
Rendition of a Choorile | Source

Choorile

A churail is a vampire like creature of East Indian origin and is considered to be of the bhoot. A bhoot (in Indian culture) is a supernatural creature, often the ghost of a deceased person. The concept of the bhoot is subject to various interpretations depending on region and community. In Guyana it is known as a choorile and is a very specific type of bhoot.

Guyana's choorile is an evil spirit of a woman who had died in childbirth, yet her child lived. The separation from her child torments her and she wails in her grief, much like a banshee of Irish lore. She haunts or terrorizes pregnant woman and newborn children.

They resemble a normal human woman, but their feet are turned backwards and sometimes other features are flipped upside down. They are capable of changing their forms at any time and often change to look beautiful or 'normal' in an attempt to lure young men to their deaths. Chooriles are often met at crossroads, fields or similar places, not often found on or near the water.

If a young man, or old one, falls for the charms of the choorile and becomes enamoured with her, it is believed that she will cause his death. There have been stories of people living with and outsmarting a choorile, in some cases even marrying one. If you encounter a choorile, it is said that crossing water or leaving shoes behind will save you, as chooriles do not cross water and will spend all night trying to put on the shoes.

Many of the younger generation of Guyanese, do not recall this jumbee and she is slowly dying out of memory. Only the older folks seem to remember her or her stories. When someone is crying a lot or acting crazy they may be referred to as acting like a choorile, which is where I came across the word. An old guyanese mans comments while people watching.

 

 
A sketch of a old higue.
A sketch of a old higue. | Source

Ole Higue

One of the more popular and strongly held belief in jumbee is the Ole Higue. Indeed it is not uncommon to hear of a womans death in the news by those who believed her to be a ole higue. In 2007 such an incident happened, more on that story later.

In Guyana this type of jumbee is know as the Ole Higue. In other parts of the Caribbean they are known as Fire Rass or Angeli. It is always a woman who is said to suck the blood of unsuspecting victims as they sleep, with children and babies being her favourite victims.

The ole higue lives among other guyanese and in villages as a somewhat quiet or introverted old lady. At night this old lady, sheds her skin and hides it in a calabash (a plant that can be dried out and used as a container to hold things). She then turns into a ball of fire and heads to the home of her intended victim entering via the keyhole. Interestingly, countless sightings of these balls of fire have been reported all over the country and no doubt is a part of why there is such a staunch belief in this jumbee.

There are three ways to dispose of an Ole Higue if they should bother you or your village, and quite often the removal of a Ole Higue is a community event.

The first way is to turn the key while she is trying to enter through the keyhole. Even today, many people still lock their doors and then turn their key to a horizontal position to allow the higue to enter partially. As the Ole Higue struggles to get past, it rattles the key and alerts the home owner, who can then turn the key fully and crush her. It is said that a pile of bones should be seen on the doorstep, if successful.

The second way is find the calabash where the skin is stored and to put hot peppers in the skin. When she tries to wear the skin again, it will burn her.

Being a miserly ole lady, the final way to catch one is to spill rice grains on the floor in front of the door to the house. As she enters, she will be compelled to count the rice grains before she can pass. She will use her right hand to pick them up, her left to hold them. A hand can only hold so much rice before they start to fall and she has to start over again. It's best to use a large helping of rice grain and keep bags or containers outta sight. When the morning comes, the home owner will awake to a very tired, distressed and cranky ole higue counting rice. This is when the home owner beats the woman to death. You can also stop a higue from moving, by surrounding her with a circle of rice.

As promised, a news story from April 30, 2007 about the murder of a woman who apparently inspired the superstitious to believe she was a Ole Higue.

During the early morning hours she had wandered into the village of Bare Root, where people possessing cell phone and even internet, still believed in the old stories. Two men had called out to her and when she snarled at them, it was determined that she was not human. A resident watching suddenly noticed a red mark on their child, which is a telltale sign of a Ole Higue who had come to suck the child's blood.

Several villagers banded together to trap this woman in a circle of rice and then attempted to burn her with kerosene, but she did not ignite and that to the villagers only confirmed she was a Ole Higue and not human. As the sun continued to rise, the villagers waved a broom over her and asked her where seh was from, she replied “non pariel” and repeated some nonsensical phrases. As the sun got higher, the woman stood straighter and revealed that her dress did not cover her properly and she had no underwear on. No one in the village recognized her or knew her.

The beat her on the spot and shoved objects into her. They then left her to die where she lay.

When the body was found and sent off for autopsy, reporters came to the village where they were told that IF she was a Ole Higue, they wanted no part of her. An elderly woman who lived in the village and who disapproved of the beating, said the victim was probably mentally unstable and thus an easy target for the fearful and the superstitious.

Days later, the victms name was released. She was a 55 year old mentally disabled lady who had wandered away from relatives in a nearby village. She did not speak clearly and would have been dis orientated and confused. Three people were charged with murder and they were ultimately sentenced to jail because they were unable to prove that they truly believed she was a Ole Higue. It was suggested she should have been left in a circle of rice and authorities called.

 

 
A rendition of a massacooramaan
A rendition of a massacooramaan | Source

The Massacooramaan

The massacooraman (or masacouraman) is a huge, hairy, man-like creature that lives in rivers in the interior of Guyana. The massacooramaan allegedly capsizes small boats and eats the occupants. Amerindians and miners (pork knockers) who work in the interior of Guyana often speak of the massacooramaan. To the Amerindians it is a powerful river spirit that pulls boats down into the water in the rapids, often these boats were carrying the pork knockers.

It is much taller and bigger than a man, and has sharp teeth. It is unknown whether or not the massacooramaan lives in the river or dwells on land, but it is certain that it can swim very well and attacks boats in the river at whatever chance it gets.

 

 
Source

The Dutchman Jumbie

The Dutchman jumbees are second only to the Ole Higue in the depth of belief in them and how common they are found in present day Guyana lore.

Ask any Guyanese person and they will tell you that they will blame every event, behaviour or sign that they can not explain on jumbees. The Dutchman is considered the most frightening of them all and take the blame for the most evil of acts that explanations defy.

The stories go that the Dutch during the 1500's use to kill the slaves and bury them with their treasures to act as guard for said treasures. The Dutchman jumbee are not the killed slaves, but the Dutchman who did the killing and in their own deaths were brought back to Guyana, if they had died elsewhere.

Many trees in Guyana are called Dutchman trees. If one climbs these trees or cuts at it or anything else like that, the Dutchman jumbee will cause them to fall and break their neck or spine, or they get violently ill, or encounter all sorts of bad karma. Each village has its own tale. In an area of the West Demerara the story goes that a Dutchman and his dog, torment and were generally cruel to their slaves and would hang them for no real reason, or as a warning to others. Any who climbed the tree, dug at it's roots or tried to mark the tree, were commonly found dead within days at the most.

I do not know if these stories are true or not, I imagine there is a small amount of truth to it and a whole lot of fiction, it is still a strong belief within many areas of Guyana.

 

 

Avoid and Escape Jumbees

There are many recommended ways to avoid or escape jumbee encounters:

  • Leave a pair of shoes outside the house door, so jumbees (who do not have feet) spend the entire night trying to wear the shoes before moving into the house.
  • Leave a heap of sand or salt or rice outside the house door, which compels jumbies (more so the Firerass, or ole Higue) to count every grain before the sun rises.
  • Upon coming home late at night, walking backwards may prevent a jumbee from following one inside.
  • If a jumbee chases a person, crossing a river may stop them. It is believed that jumbees cannot follow over water.
  • Leaving a rope with many knots outside the door step have distract them. Jumbees love to try to untie knots; in doing so, they may forget about the house occupants.

 

 
 

I once visited a museum in NYC where they had idols of worship from the far east. One particular idol fascinated me, and I thought it was funny looking. 

That night I dreamt the idol came alive and was choking me to death....I would wake up panting...fall asleep...then dream the idol again

I never thought idols were very funny after that

There is no scientific explanation or interpretation for dreams. People usually make their own analogy of why they dream and the meaning behind them. If dream could kill, we would all be dead already. I personally had dreams about good, bad and indifferent things, but I never tried to interpret them or search for meaning to them.

Mitwah posted:
Leonora posted:

Cobs, she always told me that when you dream dead people, is wedding coming up. Maybe I'll be getting a daughter-in-law!   

What if the " daughter-in-law" turns out to be a guy?  Just saying. 

Na, he's a chick magnet and has it all: good looks, brains, personality, etc. All his cousins keep complaining to me how come he has so many girls and they don't have any.    

Leonora posted:
Mitwah posted:
Leonora posted:

Cobs, she always told me that when you dream dead people, is wedding coming up. Maybe I'll be getting a daughter-in-law!   

What if the " daughter-in-law" turns out to be a guy?  Just saying. 

Na, he's a chick magnet and has it all: good looks, brains, personality, etc. All his cousins keep complaining to me how come he has so many girls and they don't have any.    

OK, so he looks like his Mom eh.  Dem ole peeps seh, wen bwoys look like dem moms, dem ah very luck bwoys.

Leonora posted:

Last night I dreamt my dead Mom. She appeared just as she was when she was a young beautiful woman, and was trying to tell me something. Can anyone tell me what it means?

You didnt hear what she said...means you hard aze.

Leonora posted:

Last night I dreamt my dead Mom. She appeared just as she was when she was a young beautiful woman, and was trying to tell me something. Can anyone tell me what it means?

Some interpretations ...

1. See your mother in dreams as she appears in the home, signifies pleasing results from any enterprise.

2. For a woman to dream of mother, signifies pleasant duties and connubial bliss.

3. To hear your mother call you, denotes that you are derelict in your duties and that you are pursuing the wrong course in business.

Source -- 10,000 Dreams Interpreted, the Most Comprehensive and Thorough Study of Dreams Ever Published.

-- by Gustavus Hindman Miller.

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