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Olive Senior "Meditation on Yellow"


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The poems here are being done for CAPE Literatures in English. I hope that the presentation helps all students who are striving for excellence as they pursue their studies.

If you do not get the sound clips, they are:

Earth Song by Michael Jackson

You Don't Bring Me Flowers by Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond

Redemption Song by Bob Marley

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Olive Senior "Meditation on Yellow"

  1. 1. Created by: Patricia L. PittSan Fernando East Secondary School, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies
  2. 2. Travellers’ Tales
  3. 3. Meditation on YellowJennifer Rahim, lecturer in English in theDepartment of Liberal Arts at the University of theWest Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad has describedthis poem as “a clever, satirical monologue thattraces the evolution of the capitalist ethos in theregion.”She notes that “Senior evokes the color yellow assymbol of a historical continuum of plunder,enslavement, and servitude that marks theCaribbean’s relations with the developed world,beginning with the conquistadors’ misguided searchfor gold, then the sugar of the colonial plantationeconomy, and finally the trade in sunshine and sandof the contemporary tourist industry.”
  4. 4. Meditation on Yellow-Part 1Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote a novel entitledOne Hundred Years of Solitude. He has statedthat his favourite shade is:“The yellow of the Caribbean seen fromJamaica at three in the afternoon…”A dominant theme in his One Hundred Yearsof Solitude is the inevitable and inescapablerepetition of history. The protagonists arecontrolled by their pasts and the complexity oftime.García Márquez also used colours as symbolsin this book. Yellow and gold were the mostfrequently used colours and they weresymbols of imperialism and the SpanishSiglo de Oro. Gold signified a search foreconomic wealth, whereas yellow representeddeath, change, and destruction.
  5. 5. Meditation on Yellow-Part 1El Dorado is Spanish for "thegolden/gilded one"). Legend has itthat it was the name of a Muiscatribal chief who covered himselfwith gold dust and, as an initiationrite, dived into a sacred highlandlake.Later it became the name of alegendary "Lost City of Gold" thathas fascinated – and so far eluded –explorers since the days of theSpanish Conquistadors. Thoughmany have searched for years onend to find this city of gold, noevidence of such a place has beenfound.El Dorado came to be usedmetaphorically of any place wherewealth could be rapidly acquired.
  6. 6. Persona-An Arawak of Jamaica“Had I known I would havebrewed you up some yellow fever-grassand arsenicbut we were peaceful thenchild-like in the yellow dawn of our innocence…”Lemon/Fever Grass Fever grass tea Yellow sulphide of arsenic
  7. 7. “a string of islands and two continents”for “a string of beads and some hawk’s bells…” Usually the word string would be followed by pearls, something of value. In this case however, the Indians received worthless glass beads and hawk’s bells.
  8. 8. “(you were not the last to be fooled by our patina)”In the Taino culture of the Antilles, aguanín was a badge of triballeadership, worn by the Cacique(chief).It was a mixture of Gold and Bronze,made from flakes of gold extractedfrom rivers; these flakes werepounded with rocks until theymelted together into a small discwhich the Cacique could weararound his neck or some other partof the body.It attracted early European visitors.
  9. 9. “As for silver/I find that metal a bit cold” To "bite the bullet" is to endure a painful or otherwise unpleasant situation that is seen as unavoidable.
  10. 10. Meditation on Yellow-Part 2 Persona –Hotel/Hospitality Worker “served by me skin burnt black as toast (for which management apologizes)”“At some hotel overlookingthe sea…”
  11. 11. “I’ve been slaving…”
  12. 12. “I’ve been slaving… for your”
  13. 13. “Just when I thought I could rest…” Tourism-the new form of colonization and exploitation…
  14. 14. “So I serving them…”
  15. 15. “But still they want more…” Sex tourism“want it strongwant it longwant it blackwant it greenwant it dread”
  16. 16. “You cannot stop those Streggehs”-loud, promiscuous women in Jamaica Cassia Allamanda Poui Golden Shower
  17. 17. “You cannot reverse Bob Marley wailing…”
  18. 18. Bibliography for Med on Yellow•••••
  19. 19. Caribbean Basin InitiativeThe Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) is a broad program to promoteeconomic development through private sector initiative in CentralAmerican and Caribbean countries.A major goal of the CBI is to expand foreign and domestic investment innontraditional sectors, thereby diversifying CBI country economies andexpanding their exports. The Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act of1983 (CBERA) (amended in 1990) and the Caribbean Basin TradePartnership Act of 2000 (CBTPA), collectively known as CBI, providescustoms duty-free entry to the United States on a permanent basis for abroad range of products from CBI beneficiary countries.Once a Free Trade agreement is established the CBI is no longer enforced.
  20. 20. The Title’s SignificanceThe title is a play on words; the “Caribbean BasinInitiative” which was officially unveiled by UnitedStates President Ronald Reagan in 1982 as a way ofstimulating the economy of the entire Caribbean,especially through increased trade with the USA. TheCBI as it is referred to, has had little success. In thepoem this externally imposed solution is contrastedwith the initiative of individuals – in this case theHaitian people who from time to time choose thedangerous route of migration in small open boats.
  21. 21. Author of the opening quotation Mary Henrietta Kingsley (13 October 1862 – 3 June 1900) was an English writer and explorer who greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and African people.
  22. 22. “Like limpets we cling…”
  23. 23. “My mother sought a sign/in the basin…” This is a method of telling the future (divination) by looking into a container of water.
  24. 24. “Not all trunks will float…”“so we were never sinkingas low as somewe never saw rise againout of that water”
  25. 25. “We are bound for an island…” Guantanamo Bay “Nothing’s stronger than this cage…”
  26. 26. “louvri baryè pou mwen”This is a Haitian creoleinvocation to the deityLegba at the start ofceremonies, meaning“Open the gate for me”.It comes from the French,“ouvrez le barriere pourmoi.”
  27. 27. “They’re shipping me home…”
  28. 28. Bibliography for CBI••••
  29. 29. StowawayA stowaway is literally a person who secretlyboards a vehicle, such as an aircraft, bus, ship,cargo truck or train, to travel without payingand without being detected.In Senior’s poem, it is being used as ametaphor/symbol for something in thepersona’s mind that could lead to depressionor a mental breakdown.
  30. 30. “Without soundings there’s no telling how unfathomable the fall”Echo sounding is thetechnique of using soundpulses directed from thesurface or from a submarinevertically down to measure thedistance to the bottom bymeans of sound waves. Thisinformation is then typicallyused for navigation purposesor in order to obtain depthsfor charting purposes.
  31. 31. “One day light will enter this grave”A grave can be definedas areceptacle/container forthat which is dead, lostor past.In the poem itsymbolizes the mind orthoughts of the personawhich were interred inthe colonial past.
  32. 32. “A hairline fracture…”“this fault/undeclared passage…”
  33. 33. “I’ll dangle on a single hope…”
  34. 34. “how attainable the littoral…”The littoral zone isthat part of a sea,lake or river that isclosest to theshore.
  35. 35. The promised land?
  36. 36. Bibliography for Stowaway•
  37. 37. Meditation on RedThe meditation is based on a visit the authormade to the grave of the Dominican-bornwriter Jean Rhys (1890-1979), author of WideSargasso Sea. among many other books. Rhysspent her last years in the village of CheritonFitzpaine, Devon, England, where she isburied. Her address was No. 6 Land BoatBungalows. The poem addresses Miss Rhysand includes the titles of many of her books.
  38. 38. Meditation on RedOlive Senior’s poem, Meditationon Red, reflects the ambivalencefelt by it’s speaker about whitecreole author, Jean Rhys. Thatshe is a woman, the speakeracknowledges and celebrates; sotoo the fact that she (along withher experiences) paved the wayfor women writers from theCaribbean (of allcreeds/ethnicities). However,the speaker also makes itobvious that, despite herconnections with Rhys, there arealso several points where theydisconnect, especially alongracial/historical lines.
  39. 39. Cheriton Fitzpaine“You never saw the rolling downs…”
  40. 40. Who was Jean Rhys?Jean Rhys (24 August 1890 – 14 May1979), born Ella Gwendolen ReesWilliams, was a mid 20th-centurynovelist from Dominica. Educated fromthe age of 16 in Great Britain, she isbest known for her novel WideSargasso Sea (1966), written as a"prequel" to Charlotte Brontës JaneEyre.
  41. 41. Jean Rhys
  42. 42. Memories of Jean RhysShe terrified the children of the village ofCheriton Fitzpaine where she lived, saidStephenson, the wicked witch in the woods,just as she herself had been terrified as a childby the voodoo magic of Dominica.
  43. 43. “you were rudderless” The mechanism that allows a boat/ship to be steered. Metaphorically used here to indicate the lack of direction that was evident in the life of Ms. Rhys.
  44. 44. “waiting for an explosion (like that which long ago came from the attic)”This is a literary allusion to the character Bertha Mason from thenovel Jane Eyre written by Charlotte BronteBertha was Rochester’s clandestine wife. She was a formerly beautifuland wealthy Creole woman who became insane, violent, and bestial.She lived locked in a secret room on the third story of Thornfield andwas guarded by Grace Poole, whose occasional bouts of inebriationsometimes enabled Bertha to escape. Bertha eventually burnt downThornfield, plunging to her death in the flames.
  45. 45. Red-letter Days• A red letter day (sometimes hyphenated as red-letter day or called scarlet day in academia) is any day of special significance• "When slightly tight," Rhys wrote later in her life, "I can relax-also there are red letter days when I feel that after all Im as much fun as the next woman really. However this doesnt happen often."
  46. 46. Contrasting landscapes and imagessnowdrops, daffodils, narcissus: English spring flowers. flame of the forest, hibiscus, heliconia, poinsettia, firecracker– also called Fountain Bush and Coral Bush, bougainvillea: all tropical flowers with red blooms.
  47. 47. Jean Rhys’ Book Titles found in Meditation on Red• Voyage in the Dark, 1935• Wide Sargasso Sea, 1966• Sleep it off Lady, 1976• Good Morning Midnight, 1939• Smile Please-An unfinished autobiography, 1979
  48. 48. Mary Stephenson Mary Stephenson worked for the novelist Jean Rhys in the final months of her life before her death in 1979. During a BBC tribute, Mary remembered the time she spent with the author as she took dictation of her autobiography. At the time she answered Jeans advertisement for a typist, Mary was in her early 30s and she found the 87-year- old Rhys to be, by turns, charming, infuriating and embittered; sometimes her memories would light her up, sometimes they would fire her anger. Now a writer herself, Marys recollections drew on extracts from the book she typed - Jeans autobiography “Smile Please.”
  49. 49. Bibliography for Med on Red•••••••••
  50. 50. All Clear, 1928The poem dealswith the largescale emigration ofWest Indian malesto work on thePanama Canal andelsewhere in LatinAmerica in the19th century toearly 20th centuryand the womenthey left behind.
  51. 51. “All-Clear”• An all-clear is a term used by civil defense or military authorities to inform others that an imminent physical danger has passed. This typically will end an alert or warning status that was previously issued.• permission to proceed because obstacles have been removed.• In the poem it is a metaphor-clear complexion, clear conscience, free to move on
  52. 52. “Beating chaklata”parched cocoa pods are pounded in a mortar as part of theprocess of making chocolate for tea
  53. 53. “Same way in my sampata…”sandals made of old car tyres; any old shoe –also sampat, zapat. From Spanish “zapata”.
  54. 54. Heng-pon-meknapsack made of thatch used by farmers andtravellers.
  55. 55. Johnny cakes, dokunu, ceraseefried dumpling pudding wrapped in banana leaf and boiled tea made from a bitter plant – all foodscarried by poor travellers in the days before“fast foods”.
  56. 56. The SS AtratoSS Atrato was a 3,184 tonsiron built paddle steamer builtby Messrs Caird & Co ofGreenock, in 1853 for theRoyal Mail Steam PacketCompany. She ran on theSouth American service for 17years. She was sold to JohnMorrison & Co London and in1870 converted into a single-screw vessel with compoundengines and three double-ended boilers. She has beenlisted as the largest passengership from 1853 to 1858.
  57. 57. GuineaBritish gold coin that was formerly used in the BritishWest Indies; then worth twenty-one shillings.
  58. 58. Bibliography for All Clear, 1928•••
  59. 59. Nature Studies
  60. 60. Guava/2Scientists believe theguava was firstcultivated in themountains of Peruthousands of yearsago, but man andbirds have spread theseeds throughout allthe tropics and theCaribbean. TheEuropean voyagerscarried the guavafrom the West Indiesto the East Indies,Asia, Africa and Egypt.
  61. 61. Maud made guava… pastejelly drink cheese
  62. 62. Taino BeliefsThe Taino believe everything in the universe is interconnected and spiritually alive.They view the Earth as a flat disk suspended between the cosmos above and thewatery underworld below. The realms are connected by a supernatural shaft risingfrom the bottom of the underworld, passing through a hole in the center of theEarth and extending upward to the heavens.The souls of the dead live in the otherworld. They are ruled by the ZemiMaquetaurie Guayaba, Lord of the Land of the Dead. The Zemis of the underworldare often made in the form of night flying creatures, such as bats or owls. (Thesecond Zemi, found at the Cinnamon Bay site, bears the image of a bat.) Thesecreatures are regarded as the messengers of the Dead.In the book, Memory of Fire: Genesis, Eduardo Galeano writes:"He who made the sun and the moon warned the Tainos to watch out for thedead.“In the daytime the dead hid themselves and ate guavas, but at night they wentout for a stroll and challenged the living. Dead men offered duels and deadwomen, love. In the duels they vanished at will; and at the climax of love the loverfound himself with nothing in his arms. Before accepting a duel with a man or lyingdown with a woman, one should feel the belly with ones hand, because the deadhave no navels."
  63. 63. Taino zemi-Maquetaurie Guayaba- Lord of the Land of the Dead
  64. 64. Bibliography for Guava/2•••••
  65. 65. Anatto and Guinep Anatto is a smalltree whose seedsare used as foodcolouring. Known asbija or bixa, anattowas one of thesacred plants of theTaíno who used it asred body paint. It isalso known asroucou.
  66. 66. Anatto and GuinepGuinep is a Tropical fruit tree(Melicoccus bijugatus) that bearssmall green-skinned fruit in clusterslike grapes. A sacred plant of theTaíno who called it Jagua and used itfor black body paint. Also known asAkee in Barbados and Genip, Canep,Chenip, Chennett and other variantselsewhere.
  67. 67. The Traditional UsesAnatto paste Body stained with guinep
  68. 68. The poem ends with reference to a Sun Sun and Moon Legendand Moon legend. In this one, BrotherMoon tries to commit incest with hissister Sun but she leaves a black markon the face of her attacker which lateridentifies him. This is why Sun andMoon are forever chasing each otheracross the sky.
  69. 69. PawpawThis is a Tropical fruittree (Carica papaya)the fruit and leaves ofwhich havetenderisingproperties. The poemdescribes some of thefolkloric beliefsassociated with theplant.
  70. 70. Pawpaw as a tenderizerThe most common meattenderizer used in India is raw(un-ripened) papaya.The leaves, and green skin ofraw papaya contain anenzyme called Papain. Theconnective tissue in the meatbreaks down when it comes incontact with Papain. Papaya isthe preferred tenderizer forred meat (Lamb, Mutton,Goat, Beef).
  71. 71. Benefits of PawpawPaw paw slices or its juices and whole food supplements (containing paw paw) are promoted as weightloss aids, digestive aids, and natural pain relievers, as well as for other health benefits.The paw paw is a nutrient dense food, meaning the nutrient values are very high for such a low caloriefood. Like many fruits, it is fat-free, cholesterol free, very low in sodium and high in the vitamins C, A, E,and K.High vitamin C content is one of the paw paw’s nutrient details that we know. One piece of fruit contains afull day’s supply of vitamin C. It is a powerful antioxidant and must be obtained from food because thehuman body cannot create its own vitamin C. Vitamin E is another well known antioxidant found in thepaw paw, well known for skin health and as a blood thinner.Beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, is another nutrient provided by the paw paw. Thecompounds that give fruits and vegetables their different colours nourish the human body. One serving ofpaw paw provides over 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A.The medicinal values of the paw paw date back for many centuries. This fruit contains a natural painreliever. Paw paw paste was used traditionally for the relief of burns, cuts, rashes and stings. A compoundknown as papa derived from the paw paw fruit has long been used as a natural meat tenderiser. It isbelieved that this enzyme may help the body digest meats and amino acids more efficiently.On the whole paw paw is an excellent source of dietary fibre which is also necessary for digestive health.Paw paw pills are promoted for use as natural antacids, for ulcer relief and to relieve constipation.
  72. 72. Bibliography for Pawpaw•,86008.html
  73. 73. Gardening in the Tropics
  74. 74. The Knot Garden• Though the references are Jamaican, the poem is speaking of political interference and corruption anywhere.• A Knot Garden is a formal garden of intricate design; notice the play on words.
  75. 75. The Knot GardenThis is a metaphor for the government trying to keep theblacks and other races segregated because thats the easiestand most subtle way to "defeat" us; to divide and conquer.The poem speaks about the breaking of the knot gardeneventually since blacks are now living in upscale communitieswith the whites, so theres not much they can do to stop itnow.
  76. 76. WisAny tough climbing vine used for tying, basket-making, etc. Also wist(from English withe)
  77. 77. IMF MeetingThis is a reference to theInternational MonetaryFund; an internationalfinancial institution fromwhich member states of theUnited Nations canwithdraw funds to tidethem over hard times(balance of paymentsdeficits). The draconianconditions attached tothese loans have made“IMF” a negative expressionin many countries.
  78. 78. “Our leader ordered…” Hacking out paths and ditches The intention was to keep the society dividedCutting of swaths along racial, political and class lines.
  79. 79. “our leader finds instead…”Higglers and drug barons – higglersare market traders; the moresuccessful ones are able to moveupward in society, along with thosepeople who make a fortune fromthe drug trade. ‘daughters of gentry’ Christopher “Dudus” Coke– middle class girls. This is referringto the interplay of classes asperceived in Jamaica, referred to as“uptown” and “downtown”. “Ghettoboys with gold teeth” refers to poorboys who have become successfulreggae and dancehall artists, andwho used to acquire gold teeth as asign of their new status. “Hits” is Vybz Kartelplaying on both hit songs andcontract killings.
  80. 80. “In the old days, he’d have ordered some hits himself…” Violence has characterized Jamaican politics since the slavery era and has surfaced at times of protest or repression. Almost every general or municipal election since independence has been preceded and followed by gang warfare, street outbreaks, and occasional assassinations.Violence in Jamaican politics
  81. 81. Tax HavensCayman Islands,Liechtenstein, Geneva:all countries that aresecretive aboutbanking so are used tohide illegal money.
  82. 82. Bibliography for The Knot Garden••••• pid=6001&id=cb80-1-44•
  83. 83. The Tree of LifeThe poem is based on a Carib legendwhich relates how all the world’s foodplants came into being. The Carib (alongwith the Taíno) are the native peoplesof the Caribbean encountered byColumbus. Today, Caribs are to befound in parts of northern SouthAmerica, including Guyana and on theisland of St Vincent. This poem (as wellas Advice and Devices) also refers to thepreference of Caribbean “small farmers”to plant a wide variety of food crops intheir plots (mixed farming), as opposedto commercial agriculture that is basedon a single crop.
  84. 84. Motif and MetaphorA tree of life is variously: a motif in variousworld theologies, mythologies, andphilosophies; a mystical concept alluding tothe interconnectedness of all life on ourplanet; and a metaphor for common descentin the evolutionary sense.
  85. 85. The FloodThe Hebrew Bible and many other ancient historiesand mythologies record the occurrence of such acatastrophe.
  86. 86. Bibliography for The Tree of Life•
  87. 87. SEEING THE LIGHTThe speaker is a native American.
  88. 88. “letting in light…”
  89. 89. “in their chronicles they might have recorded it by another name…”‘conquista, evangelismo, civilizacion’: to conquer, christianize, civilize –refers to the intention of the European conquerors towards the nativepeoples, often with negative results.
  90. 90. In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jacksons Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced togive up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. TheCherokee people called this journey the "Trail of Tears," because of its devastating effects. The migrantsfaced hunger, disease, and exhaustion on the forced march. Over 4,000 out of 15,000 of the Cherokeesdied.
  91. 91. “We cleared just enough for our huts and our pathways, opened a pinpoint in the canopy to let the sun through”
  92. 92. “Always gave back (to Earth) our thanks…never failed to salute the gods ….”Rain dance Sun dance Wind dance Moon dance “tobacco smoke for the spirits…”
  93. 93. Yuca and Maize yuca: (manihot esculenta) – a root crop that is one of the principal foods of natives peoples of the Caribbean and Latin America, including the Taíno. Known as Cassava or Manioc in the English-speaking islands.Maize is commonly known as corn insome countries. The growing of cornfirst began in Mesoamerica and hassince spread throughout the Americancontinents. Today maize is the largestcrop in the Americas.
  94. 94. PleiadesThese are a group of stars, also called the “Seven Sisters” – that are very importantin ordering the yearly routine of Amerindian life.
  95. 95. “You told us your one God had the power…but we’ve waited in vain…”
  96. 96. “many leaves must fall to cover up our dying”ALL in life is only "temporary”...and its a constant cycle of "Life & Death“The falling leaves symbolize change/transformation .
  97. 97. Bibliography for Seeing the Light•••••
  98. 98. TROPIC LOVE‘You don’t bring me flowersanymore’ is playing on thetitle of a once popular lovesong (the most popularversion is by BarbraStreisand and Neil Diamondwho is one of thecomposers).
  99. 99. Mystery
  100. 100. What is mystery?Mystery is a characteristic of Spirit presentwithin the soul of all people and all things.Mystery does not need to be solved. It is not aproblem, therefore it has no solution. Mysteryis to be appreciated for its ability to inspireawe and enable you to transcend limitations.What are some mysteries of life that yourelate to?
  101. 101. Marassa: Divine TwinsDivine twins in Haiti – identical and mirrorimages of each other. Among the Yoruba, thetwins are called Ibeji; in Cuba Ibbeyi.
  102. 102. Gemini The Gemini motif is essentially a symbol of opposites, inversions and alternating contradictions between life and death and positives and negatives
  103. 103. • The Marassa are the sacred twins of Vodou. In the concept of One plus One equals Three, the Marassa represent the result of a union of higher forces, bringing into reality a third potentiality. They are often called Marassa Dosu Dosa - a reflection of the two is three idea.• The Marassa represent abundance, blessings, the gift of children, the sacredness of family and the mysteries of the divine. The Marassa also represent special births, such as three children, or children born with a cawl on their face. The sacred Twins are invoked at the beginning of every service along with Papa Legba, for without the Marassa, nothing can come into existence . Their combined magic produces the abundance of the world (that one and one equally three again). Faith, Hope & Charity• Like all sacred Twins, they are identical, yet sexless - they are the potential, therefore, they contain everything - male and female, light and dark, positive and negative.
  104. 104. Bibliography••
  105. 105. Ogun: God of IronWarrior God of iron and of war - he controlsmuch of the material in the earth andrepresents primitive force and energy. Oggúnin Cuba, and Ogun Ferraille in Haiti („ferraille ‟means „iron‟). The worship of Ogun may betraced back to Iron Age civilizations in Nigeriaand adjacent countries.
  106. 106. Ogun: God of Iron• Ogoun is the traditional warrior, similar to the spirit of Ares in Greek mythology. As such, Ogoun is mighty, powerful, and triumphal; yet, also exhibits the rage and destructiveness of the warrior whose strength and violence can turn against the community he serves.• Ogun gives strength through prophecy and magic. It is Ogoun who is said to have planted the idea, led and given power to the slaves for the Haitian Revolution of 1804. He is called now to help people obtain a government more responsible to their needs.• In Yoruba mythology, Ogun (same as Ogoun) is a son of Yemaja (Yemaya) and Orungan. In Santería and Palo Mayombe, he is identified with Saint Peter. In all his incarnations Ogoun is a fiery and martial spirit. He can be very aggressively masculine, but can rule the head of female, or effeminate male initiates to whom he takes a liking. He is also linked with blood, and is for this reason often called upon to heal diseases of the blood. In addition, he is often called upon to bring work to the unemployed.
  107. 107. Ogun is metal. When you hold a horseshoe, an ironskillet or a computer in your hand, you are holdingOgun. He is Master of Technology, and He knows themysteries of all technology, from the most simple to themost modern.Ogun is the defender of the village, but He also can bethe aggressive warrior. He is ambivalent that way.Ogun is the knife that kills but also the scalpel thatheals. He is an amazing transformer: Heunderstands the mysteries of transmuting raw oreinto useful metal, and from that understanding, helearned the mysteries of all transformation.Ogun is a workaholic. He loves His Forge and sticks byit. He is anti-social and Ogun loves dogs. He is apassionate hunter, another reason for Him to stay inthe forest.Do not invoke Ogun if you are bleeding, lest He take anunfortunate liking to your blood flow. Ogun is invoked toheal diseases of the blood, and protection duringsurgery. Ogun will also protect you from crime andcriminals. He can also find jobs for His devotees.
  108. 108. Edwards, Melvin (1937- ) - 1983 Gate of OgunOgun is the deity of iron and war found among theYoruba people of West Africa. Ogun lives in the flamesof the blacksmiths forge, on the battlefield, and in thecutting edge of iron. The gate is "a symbol of transitionrepresenting the Middle Passage and spiritualtransformation".
  109. 109. Bibliography• of-iron-and-metal/discussion 681181/? link=ibaf&q=ogun+god+of+iron&imgurl= t.jpg
  110. 110. Babalu: Lord of the EarthHe is associated with diseasesconnected with the earth suchas smallpox and is seen asrepresenting punishment for theexcesses of mankind. Portrayedas an old man robed in a scarletgown. Also regarded as thedoctor of the poor. He issymbolised by small gourds,peanuts, sesame seeds, andgrains which suggest thepustules of smallpox.Babalu represents the idea thatlife, even at its worst, is worththe struggle to survive.
  111. 111. What is a vever?• A symbolic design, formed on the ground (in the peristyle) by sprinkling wheatmeal, cornmeal, or some other appropriate powder from the hand, at or before the beginning of a ceremony.• Such a design represents a Loa to be invoked, and serves both as a focal point for invocation and a kind of altar for offerings. Several vevers of different Loa may be drawn for one ceremony.• The designs incorporate well-recognized traditional elements, but reflect also the individual intentions and creative skill of the Houngan or Mambo.
  112. 112. Examples of Vevers
  113. 113. Bibliography••••