gall and gumption

Monday, April 30, 2007

Ole Higue

When my mother read this story from Caribbean Net News, she said, "In addition to global warming, I do believe we also have global darkening."

Woman believed to be blood sucking spirit beaten to death in Guyana
Published on Monday, April 30, 2007

BGordon French
Caribbean Net News Guyana Correspondent

GEORGETOWN, Guyana: A woman yet to be identified was beaten to death during a bizarre incident in a small village in eastern Guyana on Saturday, because villagers believed she was an evil spirit, similar to a vampire, which sucks the blood of people.

Police are not buying the villagers version and have arrested two persons from the village of Bare Root, which is located some 14 miles from Georgetown.

It all started at the crack of dawn when two villagers called out to the woman, who reportedly responded with an animal-like snarl. They became suspicious and summoned other villagers who responded promptly with mythical objects to fight off the suspected spirit.

Villagers told Caribbean Net News that the woman appeared to be a dark ball with an occasional flicker of fire, traits associated with an "Ole Higue," as told in Guyanese folklore.

According to the folklore, the Ole-Higue lives during the day among other villagers, but at night this seemingly harmless old woman removes her skin, places it gently in a calabash and travels across the sky as a ball of fire heading to the home of her intended victim. To enter the home she shrinks herself and enters through the keyhole.

According to a police statement, officers found the body, which bore several marks of violence, and near to it, a quantity of rice, a manicole broom and three pieces of wood.

It is believed that the easiest way to catch an Ole Higue is to spill rice grains on the floor in front of your front door. As the Ole Higue enters the house, she will be compelled to count every rice grain. When the home owner awakes the next morning they should find a tired Ole Higue. According to folklore, at this point in time she must be beaten to death with a special broom.

Police said they will perform an autopsy on the woman's body.


At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used that story in my class this afternoon. I had my students read it and ask five questions about it. One asked how it was possible to kill someone with a broom. So a nice female explained that if you hit a person right with the right kind of broom, the kind of broom with the big sticks that you get back home, you could in fact kill someone. There was lively disagreement.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Kia said...

What a great idea, using it in class. I believe this is a sort of obeah broom, by the way, and it would be the magic that was expected to do the business.

Here's more goodies on West Indian/African spirits by the way.

Do you remember that Jamaican woman I taught at KBCC that one semester? She was the niece of the housekeeper to some friends of my brother. She told me, in class, that her mother told her not to go to the river in the early morning as a child because of the River Mother.

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