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25900 Posts in 9963 Topics by 982 Members Latest Member: - Ferguson Most online today: 87 (July 03, 2005, 06:25:30 PM)
+  Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum
|-+  SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY, RELIGION
| |-+  Spirituality (Moderators: Tyehimba, leslie)
| | |-+  Obeah: Afro-Caribbean Spiritual System
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Author Topic: Obeah: Afro-Caribbean Spiritual System  (Read 26833 times)
Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2004, 11:57:10 PM »

 
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I refuse to play a game of who knows more about traditional afrikan religions because that proclamation is based on who has read the most books, and not on overstanding the application of religion and its beneficial or counterproductive properties. Seen.

My knowledge of traditional African religion (especially Dahomean Vodoun and Kongo ngunza) doesn't come form books but through rituals. Conducting rituals with symbolic objects and gestures bring appropriate guidance because we can transcend superficiality i.e the prejudice of the Western World.. Traditional African religions are very complex. So, IMO, their ethical worthiness and powers cannot be grasped in books as you think.. As for myself, the mental, spiritual and emotions impressions I have of traditional African religions are not with reason but with paranormal empiricism.. like most people who have true connection with the Other World and the ancestors anyway.

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.... because of the dog-eat-dog nature of the society that slavery created, many people consult obeahmen/women for negative purposes like that, or for things like, to try and get a visa to go to the U.S. And nuff of the obeahmen/women is pure frauds anyway, I'm sure there are those with a real overstanding of the powers and who use these powers for good, but nuff of them is money-hungry confidence tricksters, that's a fact.

It's not correct to say that the majority of obeah priesthood is pure fraud. Most of the knowledgeable and skilled practitioners of Vodoun priests I know (in fact, Obeah priests too I'm sure) are good, law-abiding people. They would prefer we act with love and compassion towards all other things. But, it's up to us to whether we use the Power of the Loas (spirits or Creator Source energies) to rob a bank, or to campaign for nuclear disarmament. The responsibility is right into own selves! Also, if you knew anything of the fundamentals of magic, you would know that the Obeah priest only magnifies the energies of our own minds. It is the follower of Obeah who must harness the energy of his own mind with his power of WILL to an end destination to obtain achievement and success. So, simply having the Obeah priest, diviner or healer prescribing rituals as well as giving us advices does not mean that they will have "power" or "effects", we must tune ourselves to the vibration of the source of all energy in order for us to receive their effects. The fulfillment of our plans always come from self and must first be within self.

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Yes I.
The passage Preach quoted is indeed quite reasonable. But I dare say I could leaf through Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' and find SOMETHING reasonable in there.

Yes indeed, Hitler and the Nazi party possessed traditional religious and magical knowledge that they used for selfishness and harmfulness! Today, even the CIA continues to exploit the same knowledge and powers for espionage to wreak havoc and destruction the world over. Their morbid use of Shamanic traditions is no more than Satanism characterize "philosophical and practical proper".


B.K
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
gman
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2004, 07:53:46 AM »

Yes B.K.
No disagreements with anything you say here really. Just to clarify I never said the majority of obeah practitioners were frauds, I said "nuff" of them are, where I come from anyway. In any aspect of life under this system, you will find people who are willing to make a profit by exploiting the weak, desperate and gullible. To put it in context, you find the same thing in churches, government institutions, etc., I am by no means singling out obeah as more prone to fraudulency than any other institution as it exists under this system.
Do you know anything about cumfa? This is an African spiritual tradition in Guyana, distinct from obeah though they might intersect (a cumfa practitioner might also be an obeahman/woman), which from the limited information I can find about it seems to derive largely from Congo. There were a number of Congolese who were brought to Guyana as indentured servants after slavery ended, who were able to preserve more of their spiritual traditions intact, than the slaves were. I don't know if it exists anywhere else in the caribbean, to my knowledge most of the new world African traditions are more Yoruba/Dahomey/Fon-based, while cumfa is supposedly more Congo-based. It involves 'possession' by a number of spirits who represent different cultures (African, East Indian, Native, European etc.) for the purpose of healing maladies and solving life crises. From the research I've done into various traditions that deal with 'possession' this is a very common thing worldwide, becoming 'possessed' by spirits which represent the traits or supposed traits of different cultures. There is an interesting book I remember reading as an undergraduate dealing with the zar 'cult' in Sudan, which has many similar features, I forget the name of the book but it's by Janice Boddy, a white anthropologist, and is written in that annoying academic lingo (code), but worth wading through the horrible prose style and reading still for the information in there.
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2004, 06:40:24 AM »

Gman,

Cumfa could be a Kongo derived religion in Guyana I don't know, because it's not a popular rite in DRC Congo, Congo-Brazza or even Angola. The rite mot present in the Bantu Kongolese regions is Nungza. The Nungza believers posses a priest (nganga), divination, possession, spirits allies, the assistance of the ancestors, drumming, dancing and nkisi (magic), mostly just like the Cumfa religion I suppose.. I am glad to know that a Kongo derived tradition has still a solid base in Guyana.

B.K
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
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