When I raised questions about the realm of the supernatural and its importance (or relevance) in Guyanese culture, I could not have imagined a story like the one below, taken from today's Chronicle. Something tells me there's much more to that story, but it appears obeah is still considered a serious threat to some people in Guyana.
So far (as far as I've read) in Edgar Mittelholzer's Shadows Move Among Them, the realm of the supernatural is treated lightly. Although (as the title suggests) there is a heavy supernatural motif present in the novel, talk of mysterious doings generally appears to aim at provoking amusement.
Some things need to be taken into consideration, of course. For one, this reader is not a believer in the power of the supernatural, and is inclined to brush off such talk as nonsense. Also, this reader's living experience in Guyana has been mostly among people who do not (did not) regard the realm of the supernatural with any seriousness. So unlike the judge in the story below who took the "sprinkling" of things as a serious threat, I find it all rather amusing.
But obeah aside, maybe the "sprinkling" incident received such attention because of this attack on an attorney last year.
What do you think? Obeah, or something more "scientifically" sinister?
Defendant charged with practising obeah at Court
ALAN Kissoon, 40, of Lot 28 Grove Public Road, has been charged with practising obeah.
He appeared before Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson-Ogle yesterday, when it was alleged that, on January 27, at
Kissoon pleaded not guilty and said he was drinking water at a tap in the courtyard and, as he sprinkled some off to dry his hands, someone made the allegation that he was throwing something where the magistrate had to walk.
He said he had been in front of the same magistrate on a charge of receiving stolen items.
Police Sergeant Sherwin Matthews, prosecuting, said Kissoon was seen sprinkling a substance around the entrance that the magistrate uses.
Kissoon was granted $10,000 bail until February 18. (Nathalene DeFreitas)
[I'll post my review of Mittelholzer's Shadows Move Among Them next week.]