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Photos of ceremonies and rituals by Sheloya and her ile.
Where magic and science meet...
Obeah is a system of spirituality and sorcery practiced by Africans in the Americas, mostly in the Carribean and the east coast of the U.S. Though famous or rather infamous as an art, its actual practices are usually very secret, done in solitude, and passed down strictly within family, or from teachers to selected students who are both close enough to count as family, and called upon by the "Obia" living in the teacher.
Its origins are ancient and varied. There was a chain of information stretching across Africa into Asia that some sages were involved in since thousands of years before the common era. Style-wise though, it is very Fon since it is usually solitary, gender is unimportant except inasmuch as it has to do with certain responsibilities, and eventually, we usually end up living a reclusive life due to oversensitivity. We also live to serve our community. If we turn on our people, the Obia will turn on us.
Our practice is somewhat ecclectic, but there is a method to the seeming madness. We do not appropriate anything from any culture that is not in our ancestral line without reason or respect. Whatever we do, we have consulted the appropriate elders, authorities, and deities to do. We do not claim titles that we have not properly earned.
The lack of titles and lack of dependency on them has led some to mock us. It has led some to feel free to steal from us. In the end, those who mock us end up using our innovations, and those who steal from us...find that they bit off a little more than they could chew.
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