Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Haints and Boo Hags in Geechie culture
What is Geechie?
The urban dictionary defines Geechie as a person of caucasion descent who hails from the South Carolina Low Country and the Coastal Empire of Georgia. Geechies have a strong Gullah influence. Geechies are highly influenced by religion, the saints and voodoo.
Why am I blogging about Geechie?
Because y'all... I AM Geechie. We have interesting superstitions and strong beliefs of "other worldly" things. As a child, I was told the spooky stories of the different haints and boo hags. I was scared senseless that boo hags would bite my feet if I went around barefooted after dark and that the angry haints would sew my mouth shut if I told a lie. I still hold some superstitions of my childhood. For instance, I will not put my purse on the floor. I'm not afraid of germs; I am afraid that the boo hags will get my money by "ridin' in my bag until all my money get gone." There will always be a window in my home that is adorned with colored bottles to keep the haints out.
What is the difference between a haint and a boo hag?
A boo hag is similar to a vampire, except that it is not interested in your blood... a boo hag wants your breath, your energy, your happiness and your money. Boo hags don't have skin so they are red and angry.
A haint is a typical lost soul, although nowadays, a mean woman (er... a um... well *ahem* a bitch) is also referred to as a haint. Haints are afraid of colored glass, nails and a specific color of blue that is referred to simply as "haint blue."
How has Geechie influenced my art?
Geechie has influenced my art in many ways. Recently, I have created a second "haint tree." My haint trees are made from a botttle that has a controlled break in the center. There is a charm or pendant that hangs in the bottle from the corked top that is accessable from the broken center. The cork of the bottle has wire coming out of it with colored glass beads. My haint trees are on a haint blue base. These little darlings are guaranteed to keep out the haints and boo hags while expelling any voodoo workins' that are ailin' ya.