Tag Archives: Folk Belief


Gaded Zafè

The Caribbean folk custom of seeking guidance with a “Gaded Zafe” has been alive for centuries. The literal translation of the creole term is the “see-er of affairs”. In other words, a clairvoyant. Clairvoyants can see into the lives of their subjects. They are very popular in French Caribes like Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Guyane. It… Continue Reading »

The Red String

Context: I noticed a friend had tied a red string tied around their wrist. As a Jew, I knew that many people who visit Israel usually come back with red strings from Jerusalem. However, my informant does not identify with any religion, so I was curious to ask how he came across one. In the piece, my… Continue Reading »

Salt Balls From the Dead Sea

Context: A friend of mine had missed about a week of school, so when she finally returned, I visited her at her apartment in Downtown to catch up and hear about what had been happening.   Background: My informant explained that she had been falling victim to a string of bad luck for about one… Continue Reading »

Disease as a result of Possession

Text: BH: “So when I got chicken pox in like 7thgrade, no wait 10thgrade, yeah, and I remember we came back from the doctors’ with medicines and everything and my mom called my aunt and said “she has chicken pox”, which implied uske andar mata aa gayi hai [she’s possessed by the mata] so for… Continue Reading »