Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Trini Weirdness

Before I get into the regularly scheduled post I wanted to remind everyone that Bantridiot won the hotly contested quiz last week and he has given his final request for his reward. Look for it as this week's HNT post. And get yer minds outta the gutter! Hehehe.


I have always enjoyed folklore. Living in Trinidad exposed me to a whole new set of folkloric characters. Allow me to introduce you to some of the eerier ones.


Soucouyant
She is the Trini vampiress. During the day she is an old woman who lives in a lonely part of the village and who is rarely seen. At night she sheds her skin and travels in a ball of fire seeking a victim whose blood she will suck. It is said she can also change into the form of various animals and do the same to her victims. she must return home and don her skin before dawn or the first cock crowing.

There are a couple ways to defeat her. A sure way to detain her past dawn is to pour out a massive quantity of rice by the village crossroads. She will be compelled to clean it up one grain at a time. If she returns to her home past dawn her skin will have shrunk in daylight and she will have extreme difficulty putting it back on. If you know where the soucouyant keeps her skin you can also go rub a large quantity of salt into it so it shrinks and burns her to death when she tries to dress in it again. There are also rituals that can be done by the silk cotton tree to prevent her attacks.


La Diablesse (la jah-bless)
She is the young woman to be feared. She can be found at social gatherings where the women in attendance take an immediate dislike to her and the men are all beguiled by her. She wears a long gown which hides the one cloven foot she has. She also wears a large, floppy brimmed hat to hide her corpse-like face. She will ask a man to take her home and lead him deep into the forest where she disappears. He will be hopelessly lost and perhaps fall into a river and drown or into a ravine where the fall kills him.

The way to defend against the possibility of meeting La Diablesse if you are out alone is to wear your clothes inside out.


Douens
These are the spirits of children who died before being baptised. They wear straw hats and their feet are backwards. They roam the island looking to lure other children away from the safety of home and family. It is said that parents should not call their children in a loud voice because the douens will hear the child's name and call it in order to lure the child to certain doom in the depths of the forest by a silk cotton tree.

All yuh been warned! Keep well and doh wander alone at night unless yuh want Soucouyant, La Diablesse or the Douens to make evil fuh yuh!

17 comments:

Jodes said...

interesting...

barefoot_mistress said...

OK, that just sounds too creepy for me. Don't wanna have anything to do with Soucouyant, La Diablesse, or Douens!
I'm staying here! :P Happy Trini Tuesday to you!

Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

you are very spiritual and I am very physical
come and visit me

Gary said...

Charming. I wonder if America has any folklore that people commonly believe in. I suspect that we do, but I can't think of any.

lime said...

gary, our more common folkloric characters would be the ones from tall tales.john henry, paul bunyon and his blue ox. you can also find regional folklore, like the talking animals from the uncle remus stories. folkloric characters aren't limited to the ones that are magical. but it's a good question!

logo said...

Very cool,
and I love the Uncle Remus stories too.
Out here we also have The Weedle on the Needle.
:-P

bsoholic said...

Hmmm a tidy vampiress... that could actually be handy. lol!

Very interesting tales though!

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Jeez. Kinda scary. To say the least. Guess I'd never be out alone.

Seamus said...

So...putting on my socks and t-shirts and underwaer inside out all these years has spared me to be here! Sweet! :)

lime said...

bare and lucy, and i haven't even touched on papa bois or mama dglo or the old practicioners of obeah!

seamus, LOL apparently so! you are too smart for la diablesse!

jodes, bs, and logo, ty. glad you enjoyed.

James Goodman said...

These are great. I love reading the folklore of other cultures.

lecram sinun said...

I love these so much. Reminded me of some from Malaysia. :)

Fred said...

I'm no too sure what I just learned, but it sure was entertaining. :)

Top cat said...

it's always interesting to hear about the folklores of other cultures.
What is even more interesting to me is how the same type of theme usually runs through them all except for adapting themselves to the traditions and beliefs of the culture.
Scarey stuff!
I must go light a candle, grab my crucifix and hang the garlic.:O

lime said...

goody, i thought you'd especially like soucouyant!

fred, there is a quiz next month:P

tc, don't forget the salt and rice!

snavy said...

Those are scary! The children with backward feet thing freaked me out and made my skin crawl! I love folklore too!!

The Zombieslayer said...

Forwarded this post to the Mrs. She loves stuff like this. :)