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Obeah Mixups

Written by on March 22, 2018

***From the Jamaica CHAT column Mixup archives 2008***

Buss up Bakkle

Yow Raga bless up. This obeah thing a real thing yu nuh, yeah man, mi know a lady weh deep in her church get inna spirit regular, you know the type. Well her daughter buy a house for her and it happen that a lady was living in the house and she get notice and seh she naah move out until she buy her house. Well Raga it reach the point where them throw her out. After she leave the lady went to the house to clean up the place she saw a whole heap a bottle with some things inna dem. She throw them in the fire and some a them buss inna the fire and the lady seh she remember smelling something. Mi seh Raga the lady health go down from then. Toilet start flush by itself. TV turn on by itself, pipe a turn on. The lady church sistas went to her house 1 day to pray for her and them run out a the house never to return. Well her family carry her to this madda woman and the woman seh them tek too long as it reach too far. She seh them set monkey pon har. The lady did reach a level of recovery and start go back a church and thing would you believe that 1 day she a bathe in her bath tub and she drop and hit her head and died. Raga to the world!

Like many other Jamaicans your convincing account of the above events suggest that obeah does work. If things evolved the way you said they did then it kinda strange how so much crosses start follow di woman just afta she buss up di backle dem inna di fire. If me buck any backle wid liquid inna dem me naah go near dem!! LOL. Bless up.

Sick Child

This is a REAL story now Raga. This is my contribution to the ‘Obeah Mix-up’.  A young girl get sick inna Salt Marsh, Trelawny and couldn’t walk…she wuz sick almost to di point of death.  Suh everybody inna di community a seh a obeah smaddy obeah her. Anyways dem instruct the mother of the child fi carry her go a wah lickle ‘one cent man’ inna di neighbouring community (a suh dem call obeah man a country)….. Anyways the child still wouldn’t get better even after weeks of rubbing her wid all d oils and baths that the ‘one cent man’ prescribed. Suh d mother decide fi try God. She brought the child to church and the pastor prayed for her. She came out of the church walking and jumping like the man in the bible… Next morning the parents  woke up and go check pon d child…..but the poor little girl didn’t wake up…she was as dead as a door nail.

Suh di community people dem claim seh d pastor a obeah man too cos prayer supposed to heal…not kill. Raga di people dem a plan fi run him outa d community, cos dem seh him a ginnal.

What an unfortunate thing to happen to the little girl. You didn’t mention if her parents/guardians had exhausted all professional medical options. Dem did run up and down wid har go a nuff doctas? I really do hope they did. Nonetheless, this incident is one of the many that demonstrates the complex interplay of our beliefs and life events, such as death. By the way…”one cent man” – the name fi obeah men. Me neva know da one deh. Me jus learn suppm. Bless up.

Obeah Nuh Real

Ragga to the World,

There is nothing called Obeah (crap)…everything can be explained
scientifically…a mi fi tell you!  My experience is that when I was younger my grandmother rented the back of the house to a shoemaker, and there was a time when they had numerous arguments and he said that he was going to obeah har!! I
remember waking up in the morning and seeing white powder sprinkled on
the back step (man seh him wuking obeah).  My grandma used to just laugh and tek a pail a water and wash it off laughing in his face, which used to aggravate him, nothing evil has ever happened to any of us for years and even now. Belief kill and cure. You show mi obeah and I will give you the scientific solution. These powders are only poisons sprinkled that when absorbed in the skin makes you sick. I would never deal with a woman who believes in this obeah foolishness. Big up Sheresee, Nicole and Gene the Coffee Mill crew – Eileen, Samba Dino and the rest, Andrew from Utech and big up uself.

Bway Rohan, yuh granny really did mash up di man head. Belief kill and belief cure fi real. What if most Jamaicans behaved di same way like yuh granny and jus laugh an wash weh di powda an di ile dem? Probably most a di problem dem weh we have now woulda gone? Bless up.


HI Raga. Howdy, on the topic what is the biggest obeah you know bout, this is what I know. There was this couple who were constantly quarrelling and since this was the second marriage for the wife she decided to take steps to ensure that her marriage was saved. She asked her sister to follow her to a obeah man in St Mary. Now the obeah man was a devious man who took the woman’s only ram goat and gave her a bottle of liquid. She was told to keep it in the bottom of the kitchen cupboard and anytime an argument started she should take a sip of it and not to spit it out until the husband stops arguing. It worked beautifully for the first two times and the nosy sister decided to find out what was in it. She tasted it thinking that it never killed her sister so it not killing her. Raga when she tasted it…a water inna the bottle! Now tell me if u have your mouth full a water you can talk?…much more cuss no body? These people are stupid and allow these men with a little brains to take their money by using a little common sense. Well they are still married and the water finished last week and she borrowed money to go back because the obeah man a save her marriage. Idiot.

Okay, please allow me to get a tad bit academic here because this is a very, very interesting scenario as it relates to the role of culture and belief. Briefly, the world of obeah is really just another set of meanings with its set of explanations for events in the world. Obeah explanations are very different in comparison to “common sense” explanations. Quickly, one of the goals some psychologists pursue in their therapeutic interventions is to get people to perform effective and beneficial “common sense” behaviors to solve problems – but the explanations for the adaptation and practice of these effective “common sense” behaviors are grounded in the clients’ seemingly “nonsensical” beliefs. In so doing, clients’ the prescribed new behaviors make sense to the clients, and their problems are solved while they still stubbornly hold on to their deeply conditioned beliefs. In many instances this is the reason why so many Jamaicans are convinced that obeah “works”.

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