The practice of obeah is an African derived spiritual tradition created from various countries across west and central Africa during the transatlantic slave trade.
This practice was made illegal in Jamaica in 1760 and was also illegal in other Caribbean countries including Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana and many more.
The violent suppression of African spiritual traditions by the British coloniser’s, was due to Tacky's revolt that took place in Jamaica in 1760, this was the biggest enslaved uprising in history at this point in time.
The Obeah men and women were integral in this rebellion as they performed an important role in unifying the various African groups together.
The role of the Obeah men and women was to boost the morale of the fighters by performing rituals where each person made an oath to the cause and provided spiritual protection.
Sadly this uprising was unsuccessful and the British colonists noted the importance of the obeah men and women and captured, beheaded and displayed them for all to see.
All things related to Obeah and Africanness were heavily punished and were forced to be practiced in secret. Christian colonialism also played a crucial role in demonising and punishing Africans for practicing their own religions.
These legacies of British colonialism can still be witnessed in many countries today, where African practices are wrongly equated with evil and devil worshipping.
As someone who is Jamaican heritage I thank all the ancestors known and unknown who continuously fought for freedom and against all odds and all oppression they maintained their commitment to African liberation and freedom.