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 (ō′bē-ə) also o·bi (ō′bē)
n. pl. o·be·ahs also o·bis
1. A form of religious belief of African origin, involving sorcery and practiced in Jamaica, some other parts of the West Indies, and nearby tropical America.
2. An object, charm, or fetish used in the practice of this belief.

[West Indian English, of West African origin; akin to Efik ubio, anything noxious, something put in the ground to cause sickness or death, bad omen.]


(Clothing & Fashion) another word for obi2


(ˈoʊ bi ə)

also obi

1. a form of belief involving sorcery, practiced in parts of the West Indies, South America, the southern U.S., and Africa.
2. a fetish or charm used in practicing obeah.
[1750–60; ultimately < a West African language; compare Twi ɔ-bayifó sorcerer]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.obeah - (West Indies) followers of a religious system involving witchcraft and sorcery
cult - followers of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices
the Indies, West Indies - the string of islands between North America and South America; a popular resort area
2.obeah - a religious belief of African origin involving witchcraft and sorceryobeah - a religious belief of African origin involving witchcraft and sorcery; practiced in parts of the West Indies and tropical Americas
cultus, religious cult, cult - a system of religious beliefs and rituals; "devoted to the cultus of the Blessed Virgin"
References in periodicals archive ?
Obeahs war rituals survived the erosion of time and were passed like heirlooms between successive generations of freedom fighters as in the practice of consuming rum mixed with gunpowder.
Dianne Stewart similarly recalls how African spiritualists called Obeah man, in Jamaica, are marginalized in the literature on Jamaica's anti-slavery and anti-colonial movements.
Restoring the Obeah man to his rightful place in Jamaica's Black resistance hierarchy is how to correct Obeah's demonization in Jamaica where it is common for Afro-Jamaica's mid nineteenth century religiosity to either be stamped with a Methodist, Baptist or Moravian label.
Lacing Caribbean folklore (Anancy stories, cowhoofed obeahs, beautiful soucouyants) and biblical allusions into the work, Yanique produces fiction we might call 'realist mythology.
This sensuous, queasy, dream-sequence uncertainty, the casual allusions to obeah (witchcraft) and to eerie island folktales, sets up a kind of contrapuntal tension against the grimly real history (including the Second World War and Korean War) surging alongside--compounded, too, by the steady, ugly incursions on island life by American culture and tourism" joan frank
1982), 22-23; Williams, Voodoos and Obeahs, 120-122.
Croix, Danish West Indies, 1759," Journal of Negro History 11 (1926), 55; 57; Long, The History of Jamaica, II: 465; Schuler, Ethnic Slave Rebellion," 384; Mullin, Africa in America, 41; Williams, Voodoos and Obeahs, 163.
They worshipped Jehovah, but they worshipped other Gods as well" (Voodoos and Obeahs 123).
In using "Obi" or obeah as an imported term, Shelley's main implication is clear.
Anyway, we were in our obeahs and our headdresses and everything, and so Jim, the husband, stepped out and he says, 'OK, officer, what can I do to help you?
The Herskovitses' questions of African origins struck chords in a larger web of contestations over the colonial definition, illegalization, and repression of certain religious practices and communities on the island, including obeah ("African witchcraft") and the so-called Shouters.
This included determining the nature and origin of such practices, as well as a (malleable and contested) hierarchy: revealed, true, natural, and pseudo-religions, as well as sects and, farther down the scale, idolatry, superstition, fetishism, and obeah (or witchcraft).