obeahman

obeahman

Also called a witch doctor, jujuman, root doctor, conjure man and leaf doctor, this is a priest and physician called upon by African tribal members and followers of religions such as vodoun, Santería and macumba. Obeahman practitioners who use their powers only for good are known as “ngangas.”
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At some point a distinction was made between obeahman and myalman, the former engaged in "witchcraft" and the latter engaged in more religious practices similar to and possibly more acceptable to the political Establishment.
Buddyjoe, the Obeahman and protagonist of Aaron's short story, is a trickster and a con man, preying on the fears and desires of a small rural community, but using his 'powers' for the good of his clients and in this instance to promote a love union between two young people whom he already knows share an attraction.
The Obeahman in this story is no less criminal than the doctor, her husband, the "buckra gentleman" who gave her five shillings to buy clothes for his son before he left her, or men of the church; for Brother Peters is also an elder at the Methodist church and is known in both roles by everyone in the district.
Ce terme est retenu car il permet a mon sens de conserver l'ambiguite morale relative aux praticiens : et egalement parce que les qualificatifs locaux (gade, gaje, miji nwe, << moun ki ka fe yon twavay bay lot moun >>, malfete, tjenbwate, obeahman ou obeahwoman) sont tres souvent polysemiques.
3) Obeah played a crucial role in the development of Tacky's Rebellion (Reynolds 5-8), and while Tacky himself may not have been an Obeahman, scholars agree that he was at least advised by one, if not several (Schuler 384, Browne, Bryson, Aravamudan).
4) In addition, Obeah practitioners are skilled in the "catching" of duppies, or unrested souls, which may be used for nefarious purposes; likewise, an Obeahman may be employed to release one of these duppies so that it may achieve final rest and cease interfering with the living (Brown 146).
This Igbo man is the most powerful Obeahman in Trinidad, and it is rumoured that he is 120 years old.
The Obeahman accuses her three times of having forgotten who she is, and implies that she has been prostituting herself--although her intent may be to reclaim and recover, she continues to perpetuate, even after slavery, her physical and sexual debasement.
It is worth noting that she goes to see the Obeahman on the suggestion of a Warao (indigenous) chief who told her that "the spirits of my dead babies want a resting place" inside a living child that she must bear (Nunez 9-10).
She cannot even bring herself to say the word "Obeahman," and when she does she distances herself from the tradition--he is Emilia's Obeahman, not hers (47).