Tuesday, May 12th 2009
OBJECT OF FEAR: It looks a bit like the gingerbread man but the discovery of this "doll" in the front yard of a home at Broomage Settlement, Princes Town, caused fear in the village, with some believing it would bring evil. Here, a villager keeps his distance from the "voodoo doll". -Photos: DAVE PERSAD
There are those among us who believe that very bad things are always waiting to do us in. Not accidents and through any fault of our own, but events perpetrated by evil things called up by evil-doers bent on causing us misery.
Few will admit to how open we are to believing that a dollop of dirt or flowers or coin found in our front yard is the work of the obeahman. Fewer will reveal how often we turn to priest or pundit or our own dark arts wizards to repel the spells cast upon us.
Which is why when a family at Broomage Settlement No 1, Princes Town awoke to find a doll lying in the front yard, fear superseded every other emotion.
The doll was fashioned out of flour, rice, milk and seeds, the same ingredients used in Hindu observances when there is a death.
The man for whom the voodoo doll was meant to hurt, was dead within a year - felled by a heart attack.
For those who believe, it is a powerful mystical practice that can bring spectacular gifts and rewards to anyone willing to place their destiny in the hands of spirits, who await the call of service.
The voodoo doll has African origins, the belief brought to Haiti by slaves. The doll represents the spirit of a specific person and powers are invoked requesting a change in attitude, influencing the person to act in accordance with someone's wishes or desires.
The dolls, which can be used for good, are mostly known to cast evil spells and to cause physical harm.
They are fashioned out of grass, cloth, mud or wood and a personal item belonging to the intended victim is usually attached.
In the case of the Princes Town family, the doll was placed in the driveway of their home, the name of the "victim" on its abdomen. It looked like a teddy bear and was actually made of flour dough mixed with milk and ground rice and seeds - ingredients used during the Hindu prayers held a week after a death.
A painted pepper represented a penis.
The family's pundit said the doll represented something evil. He performed rituals to neutralise the dark and told the family to burn the effigy.
But the 66-year-old man was unsure he wanted to burn it and the holyman took the doll away.
The man's son, whose named was scrawled across the effigy, suffered severe headaches and fever.
Months later a crumpled piece of paper was found outside the house. Inside was a blue substance, believed to be an act of black magic.
On Fathers' Day the following year, the owner of the house suffered a sudden heart attack. "I don't want to point fingers but his death was a mystery. He was really good the night before and when he got up the morning he could not breathe. My son took him to the health facility where he just died," his wife said yesterday.
Up to this day the family continues to perform prayer services to ward off evil spirits. It happened again this year.
Two weeks after murdered mechanic, Nigel Allen's tombstone was painted black, his twin sister received a voodoo doll in a coffin filled with dirt at her workplace.
She received the mysterious package with a threatening postcard. The postcard read: "You are your brothers keeper. The wages of sin is "DEATH". Time to meet your brother NYO."
The note was written in red ink. To some it was prank to scare the woman into dropping the murder investigations, but many warned that it was black magic practice to get rid of Allen's sister.
Natalie Allen said she was not intimidated by the act. It is estimated that Voodoo has over 50 million followers worldwide. Voodoo flourishes in Brazil, Trinidad, Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, New Orleans and in private homes in every country in the world.
Voodoo believers accept the existence of one god. Below this almighty God, spirits (Loa) rule over the world's affairs in matters of family, love, happiness, justice, wealth, revenge.
For anyone who is searching for a solution to a difficult problem, who is trying to mend a conflict, return a lover, accumulate wealth... the Loa await your call.
To read the very interesting comments to this article, check them out here: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161476097
To really learn about the origins and meanings of Voodoo dolls, check out this book: Voodoo Dolls In Magick And Ritual
To learn all about dolls in magic and ritual, visit