Sweeping the house after dark is still thought about impolite in part African American families. This legacy comes from an ancient West african belief...

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An Obaluaiye through broom

Sweeping the home after dark is still taken into consideration impolite in some African American families. This tradition comes from the West African belief that one should be careful not come accidentally move out the the house any type of benevolent gods or ancestral spirits who have come in for the night to watch over a resting family and protect it from evil spirits.

On the other hand, once you do have evil spirits in the house, scan them out can be an extremely effective. Follow to hoodoo riddance rituals, dusting one’s broom very first with magic flour will move a house cost-free of unwanted supernatural (and embodied!) houseguests.

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Perhaps this to be what Elmore James was planning as soon as he sang in “I believe I’ll Dust mine Broom”:

I’m gonna gain up in the morning, I think I’ll dust mine broomThe black man you been loving, girlfriend, can acquire my room

“I Ain’t Superstitious,” by Willie Dixon, likewise hints at the usage of scan to mess with someone, v the heat “Don’t move me v no broom/I might get placed in jail.”

So, to be Robert Johnson threatening to leave, while in reality preparing a hoodoo routine to get rid of his rival? Or did he setup to refer his rage at his girlfriend’s cheating in a various fashion?

In Yoruba culture, the god that terror and also moral retribution, Obaluaiye, to walk the earth ready to strike the arrogant and the immoral v disease. He carries a broom the he have the right to use to conjure up smallpox (shoponnon). As soon as his morals are offended, the takes a whiskbroom with long fibers sprinkled v camwood paste and spreads sesame seed (yamoti) on the ground. He starts sweeping the seed in circles. “As the broom begins to touch the dust and also the dust starts to rise, the seeds, choose miniature pockmarks, drive the wind v their annihilating powers: the pressure of a smallpox epidemic is in order to unleashed,” Robert Farris Thompson explained in flash of the Spirit: afri & Afro-American art & Philosophy

The cult of Obaluaiye was banned in Nigeria in 1917 by brothers authorities when its priests were accused that deliberately spreading smallpox. The cult went underground, worshipping the smallpox god under various names, such as Oluwa. To today in Nigeria it’s taken into consideration dangerous come speak the him.His menace survives in gentler kind in the display of brooms in Yoruba families that are decorated with cowry shells and also carvings, and are believed to have the strength to uphold morality and make things right.

Then again, perhaps Johnson was just saying he was outta there. “Dust mine broom?” comment Johnson’s common-law stepson, guitarist Robert Jr. Lockwood, when I asked that what he believed Johnson meant. “What he expected was leaving. Dust mine broom supposed he was leaving!”


Songs:“I think I’ll Dust my Broom”- Robert Johnson“I Ain’t Superstitious”- Willie Dixon, taped by Howlin’ wolf (Chester Burnett)