By Frank Martin / TurismoPlus.ORG
A very personal impression about Jamaica is that it is a magical island not only because of its rituals that came from Africa. Also for its rugged landscape of mountains and beaches and its music that went around the world in the voice of Bob Marley
The rugged landscapes, beaches, rhythms, Jamaica healers and Obeah. All is magic in Jamaica
Who can doubt it? Jamaica is really a magical country.
The millions of tourists who visits each year that the Caribbean island seek its beaches and huge mountains, its music and food, but not only.
A tourist in Jamaica can also found wistful spirits and healers as the Obeah Man
Before visited the island Ruth, a Londoner who were there in his youth knew something new. “I was one of the skeptics about the magic, but in a few hours there I change my mind”
Decades ago Ruth was only 20 years old when she started fainting two or three time in a day. “I consulted many doctors and I did not find answers to my illness
“Then I visited Jamaica”. “The reason for Ruth s trip was to spend a brief and fun vacation on tropical white sands beaches and refreshing with new friends in the beautiful waterfalls of the island
She met the witch doctor just by chance. The Obeah Man was described by her as a very thin man with a black and leafy hair and piercing eyes. I never knew if he was young or old. Before my eyes it had an indefinite age”, she said.
Obeah is not only Magic. It’s a kind of philosophy not only in Jamaica but in many other Caribbean islands
Those who study Caribbean religions qualify Obeah as a practice of witchcraft and religion that developed centuries ago among Africans that slave dealers brought on their ships to the Caribbean.
It is similar to other African rituals like Palo, the Haitian Vodou or Santeria.
Ruth asked the sorcerer to cure her. “I could not describe the ritual he used over me because I keep my eyes closed. I heard his strange songs but his hands never touched me”.
According to Ruth, the illness she suffered for several years disappeared forever from that moment on.
“It was only magic” the woman estimated, although afterwards some doctors attributed everything to “hysteria”.
Olive Senior’s Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage describes obeah as “The word used in Jamaica to denote witchcraft, evil magic or sorcery by which supernatural power is invoked to achieve personal protection or the destruction of enemies”.
Obeah spells have their rules and the first is that they cannot harm anyone or cause long-term adverse effects, or deceive. Its proponent’s claim that only demonstrate the spiritual strength.
Obeah includes both benign and malignant magic, charms, luck, and mysticism. In some cases, aspects of these folk religions have survived through syncretism with Christian symbolism and practice introduced by European colonials and slave owners.