"Bahamian Obeah" Zora Neale Hurston (Cat Island)

Need to click the link because the preview isn't working. Like many Anglophone Caribbean islands, anti-African spirituality sentiment informs the continued ban of obeah in The Bahamas. Bahamians pronounce obeah as 'oh-bay' unlike other islands in the region. Keep in mind that Bahamians relationship with obeah is linked to centuries old xenophobia and anti-Blackness when Ayiti won its independence and the white colonizers' collective actions to demonize and punish Haiti's Independence. For instance, the Bahamian government and people associate the practice as one connected to Haiti, which tracks given the enormous anti-Haitianism in the The Bahamas in particular (the specter of Haitian independence and the fear of Black majority rule). The Bahamian Constitution condescendingly refers to obeah as "the Bahamian form Haitian voodoo." Besides the RD, The Bahamas is extremely xenophobic towards Black migrants from Haiti, Jamaica, and other spaces in the region. Zora Neale Hurston spent time in The Bahamas, particularly Cat Island, studying and documenting the clandestine obeah rituals that's available in the link provided.

Rachel Sands

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