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[Obeah Ceremonial Figure]

view [Obeah Ceremonial Figure] digital asset number 1
wood, plaster, hair, and beans
National Origin:
West African folklore of Igbo origin believes that Obeah (also Obia) is a giant animal that kidnaps girls from their villages in the night on the behalf of witches. As a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade African slaves carried many aspects of their folk religions to the Americas, which eventually became infused with the religions of their oppressors. West Indian slaves developed Obeah religious practices as early as the 17th century in many areas of the Caribbean as a form of resistance. Its basic goal is to harness supernatural forces for one's own personal use. Obeah post figures like this one are extremely rare as they are shrine pieces that are forbidden to be photographed or removed. The figure is standing on one foot with hands behind its back, a position that makes one's self invisible to the enemy in the Obeah following.
Accession Number:
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The Janina Rubinowitz Collection of Maroon Arts
Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum
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