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Entries By Opal
  • Myal, like many African based religion is tied intricately to place, location — the setting and its surrounding fauna/flora play an important role. Myal was initially believed to simple mean “spirit.” The first known recorded observation of a Myal ceremony was in 1774 by Edward Long, who documented the performance of a Myal dance intended […]

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  • I was in Jamaica a few weeks ago interviewing both academics and healers who are in some way affiliated with Myal or the practice of healing. I also spent time at the African -Caribbean library there pouring over and through literature on Myal and  its evolution. I made several discoveries, and was able to photograph […]

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  • While most know of Obeah in Jamaica, few know its counterpoint, Myal. An Entry in Jamaica Talk: Three Hundred years of the English Language in Jamaica by Frederic G. Cassidy ( MacMillian Caribbean, 1961), we get one notation: “Obeah, the Jamaican form of sorcery or `black magic’, [sic] was once counterbalanced by myal, or `white […]

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