A Guyanese Student’s Experience of Obeah

Obeah, although most frequently associated with Triniad or Jamaica, is found throughout the Caribbean. In Guyana Obeah is also called Obeah and practiced widely. A Guyanese student at the City College of New York wrote about his experience of Obeah in Guyana:

There are many names for this type of religion in Brazil they call it Umbanda, Condomble de Congo or Angola. In Caribbean countries such as Guyana where I am from they call it Obeah and in Jamaica they call it Kumina.

In Guyana you will find Muslims, Hindus, and Christians who use Obeah and their religious books such as the Quran to perform powerful magic with the help of Jinn’s and Angels. Those who practice Obeah help people with problems concerning their work, romance, domestic life, and health, but they can also do harm to those who they want revenge on or is jealous of. In other words they are good and bad Obeah man. Some people are given charms to protect them from evil or harm.’

Guyana has unique religious demographics with sizable portions of Hindus, Christians and Muslims. Obeah is practiced across religious lines:

In order to make my research effective I interviewed six Guyanese people, in which three were women and three were men. All of which are either Hindu, Muslim, or Christian. I had two Muslims, two Christian, and two Hindu’s. The age’s ranged from 22-56. Four of the interviewees had college degrees, and the other two had high school diplomas. Two of the interviewees were born in America, but is highly influenced by the Guyanese culture. The other four were born in Guyana.

All of the interviewees agreed that they knew someone that has practiced Obeah and tried to harm someone.  All of my interviewees didn’t practice any type of Obeah.   One of my interviewee’s was actually affected by Obeah, she said that one of her family members was jealous of her so they put a spell on her.  She said that weird things were happening to her and she was feeling sick.  She went to doctors and they couldn’t find out what was wrong with her, so she saw an obeah man who gave her a charm to protect her from the evil that had been done to her.