Menu

userImg showBgrSwitcher

Background by

userImg

Thanks!

Menu

ALL THE WRONG PLACES: OBEAH MAGIC MAN

How does Obeah work? Well let's say your best friend just landed a new job, made out with a total babe and is about to put down a deposit for a sweet apartment. You might take a trip down to the Obeah Man to get some of that luck for yourself. The Obeah Man will instruct you to go get the right kind of oils and sprays, perform some sort of ceremony and send you on your way. It's like playing the lottery and someone's gonna get paid, so it might as well be you.

ALL THE WRONG PLACES: OBEAH MAGIC MAN

Unlike Voodoo, Obeah has a practical place in the medicine cabinet of many Jamaicans. Right next to your foot cream, there might be a bottle of “Evil Away Spray” or a love potion. It's not a surprise then that those who dabble in the Afro-Caribbean religion's white magic aren't particularly forthcoming about it. In August 2011, an angry mob of Jamaicans killed an Obeah Man by stoning him to death. So practitioners will call themselves Science Men or ministers but hardly ever just straight up Obeah Men, cause it might get 'em killed. Obeah is for real.

ALL THE WRONG PLACES: OBEAH MAGIC MAN

That realness became evident as Natalia and I cruised through Jamaica, slaloming the MINI Roadster around massive potholes and political rallies that were like highly amplified block parties. Jamaicans are joyously loud, but they're hush hush about Obeah, even if they know where to find it.

ALL THE WRONG PLACES: OBEAH MAGIC MAN

Our first stop in Jamaica was the notoriously violent Tivoli Gardens neighborhood of Kingston. So a visit to an Obeah man for protection might be a safe bet, like an extra lock on your door. Whether it’s the spells he casts or the money you pay, you might be spared the occasional robbery or stabbing.

There's a store in Tivoli Gardens that sells all of the material goods for Obeah's occult ceremonies. Oils, sprays, candles, amulets, potions and more. Natalia discovered a particularly hilarious candle that apparently guards against infidelity. Curiously, these products are all labeled with modern packaging. Contemporary consumer culture meets ancient superstitions. The store owner, Neil, showed us around while more than a few customers bought Obeah goods. Check out this and other bonus content on MINI Facebook.

ALL THE WRONG PLACES: OBEAH MAGIC MAN

After we loaded up with Obeah supplies, we drove into the interior of the island to find Joseph, a fabled and storied Obeah sorcerer referred to us by Neil at the shop. This dude was irrepressible. He sees angels and demons in the trees. Joseph was a self-taught mystic whose philosophy was cobbled together like an encyclopedia of the occult. Tarot, Kabbalah, Reiki, Ayurveda you name it. It was hard to get a succinct answer from the dude. Though he showed us some of his less-than-stellar levitation tricks and warned us about seeing “a demon dressed in a white headscarf.”

Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (13 images)

We were left with more questions about Obeah, our Mission incomplete. So as we drove through each town, we asked as many locals as we could where to find another Obeah man. Silence. No one would talk on camera, but eventually we were whispered directions to a house at the end of a tiny cracked road down a deep ravine and guarded by a dismembered and spooky plastic doll.

ALL THE WRONG PLACES: OBEAH MAGIC MAN

There an Obeah woman emerged from a large house built into the hill. She cursed us out for calling what she practiced Obeah and aggressively sent us on our way.

But — guess what color headscarf she was wearing? White.

Watch the full episode here, and get ready for an odd, disorienting and slightly spooky to ALL THE WRONG PLACES: OBEAH MAGIC MAN.

Related Links:

ALL THE WRONG PLACES on Facebook.
Watch the Full ALL THE WRONG PLACES Series on YouTube.
MINI on Facebook
MINI on YouTube
VICE.com

Episode 1: Dekotora — The Bizarre Transformer Trucks of Japan
Episode 2: The Taxi Hit Squads of South Africa
Episode 3: The Scissor Dancers of Peru
Episode 4: Swedish Micronations Roadtrip
Episode 5: Jamaica — Obeah Magic Man

Share

facebook
googlePlus
pinterest
stumbleUpon
E-Mail
seperate multiple email addresses with a comma

Comments

MINI Drives Tasmania: Wild Rides Down Under

August 27, 2014
MINI Drives Tasmania: Wild Rides Down Under

Barren, blustery and unbelievably beautiful. See why a trek through Tasmania should jump to the top of your bucket list.

MINI Takes the States 2014: Coast to Coast with a MINI Motorcade

September 10, 2014
MINI Takes the States 2014: Coast to Coast with a MINI Motorcade

The great American road trip. It's a required class in the lifelong studies of a motoring scholar. Every other summer, a great convoy of road-hungry MINIacs make their way across the US in an epic transcontinental cruise. This year they took in 15 cities across 18 states in just 15 days. Scroll through the adventure here and study up for your own cross-country coursework.

The MINI Effect: Across Europe with The Blue Lobster

April 28, 2015
The MINI Effect: Across Europe with The Blue Lobster

After twelve years and 300,000 kilometres, Wim from the Netherlands is thoroughly fulfilling his long-time dream of owning the road with his own MINI. See how he got there on MINI Space.

MINI Space Mixtape: Summer Tracks for Kicking Back

August 28, 2014
MINI Space Mixtape: Summer Tracks for Kicking Back

Savour the sweet waning glow of summer with 7 tracks that refuse to see off the year's sunniest days.

Next on Your Itinerary: A MINI Romp Through Historic Southern England

September 26, 2014
Next on Your Itinerary: A MINI Romp Through Historic Southern England

If you're looking for a journey worth replicating, read up on some of Britain's most beautiful counties, put them in your sat nav and hit the road.

Cult Classic Then and Now: The Globe-Trekking Story of the Mini Moke

June 02, 2015
Cult Classic Then and Now: The Globe-Trekking Story of the Mini Moke

Originally designed as a military grade 'bizarre non-identical twin' of the classic Mini, this hardy member of the fleet eventually found its niche in relaxing tropical climes. Study up on the history of the Mini Moke.