Tuesday, November 28, 2006
And since I'm on the roll about my roots I wanted to respond to Bygbaby's question..."Did anyone in your family practice Voodoo with reference to your Haitian side?"
My response was, "I was trying not to go there" but then I thought it would be an interesting post. So, I'll share a couple of my experiences.
While growing up in Louisiana I was involved with almost every sport school offered and ending up on the 1982 Converse All American Basketball Team along with Cheryl Miller, a high honor in my opinion.
I had weak ankles and more than my share of injuries. Before every game our trainer had to tape my ankles as if they were mummy's. Well, down in the Bayou my mother would send me up the street to Mr. Moujean (pronounce mo-jan) instead of paying for a doctor's visit when I had an injury. To this day I'm not sure what Mr Moujean did to me.... but it worked.
He too was Creole and spoke very little English, he was a very handsome but mysterious man. As a child I never questioned my mom, I just did what she told me to do, so after injuring my ankles during practice or a game, they would be blue/black where the blood vessels had broken from sprangs. I would walk to Mr. Moujean's house and all I did was point to the injury, take off my socks and gym shoes and Mr. Moujean would do his thing.
He would first get some string and whisper words I could never figure out, do some kind of movement with his fingers over my ankels and then blow on each knot (about five or six) until he had a full anklet. He would then tie the knotted string anklet around my ankles and he would tell me to cut it off after so many days depending on the severity of the injury. This my freinds was linked to VooDoo Healing.
Marie Laveau, read more about her here, is one that I was always curious about while growing up, I remember the first time I visited her store in the French Quarters. I was 18 years old and when I walked in, there were chicken feet, snake skins, skeletons and a host of other Voodoo religious stuff, every hair on my body stood up and I felt a eeerie vibe. I immediately ran out never to return.
I often ask my mom why she would send us to Mr. Moujean and she said "because my mother told me to and I didn't question her either." Wow, wow, wow! Everybody believe in Mr. Moujean!!!
My mother now is a wife of a Baptist Minister but let me tell you...back in the day she kept a fresh Ouija Board as our family game like it was a Monopoly board. Remember that game? They took them off the shelves several years ago. We even played Ouija in college until it spelled out my husbands name when no one at the table knew I was dating him at the time. That was the last time I played the Ouija Board game.
I'm sure many of you have also heard rumors of how some Louisiana women would get their husbands by serving them red sauce in a nice Louisiana meal...well let me tell you it's no rumor. Use your imagination, I don't want to make anyone sick.
I also have a uncle that many people in my family believe a neighbor put a curse on him for disrespecting her. Today, he still jumps and twitches while he talk/cuss and the family rumor is that he started jumping and twitching the same day he disrespected the old lady. She supposedly pointed at him and said a few words and that was the curse. Personally, I believe he has Tourette Syndrome!!! He's a funny kind of guy too and his nickname is Shakey! LOL! I love my uncle.
Don't get it twisted, I profess Jesus Christ as Lord and while some Louisianian's still believe in the Voodoo practice they truly believe it is the right thing to do. I sometimes still find it hard to break old habits that I grew up believing so deeply in and it is only by faith that I do not follow my original ways. Below are some of my crazy favorite superstitions:
Don't spilt a pole while walking with a friend - bad luck
Don't spet on a crack in the floor - you break your mothers back
Don't throw away your hair without buring it because if a bird gets one string, you'll go crazy
Don't ever put your purse on the floor because you'll never have money
Beignet is from New Orleans and I could never burn my candles when his people visited us. I love candles and they always thought I was burning candles for Voodoo spells on him. Little did the know, I did not need candles to get that brother!!!! He and I were born to be together and no force could stop this love affair......yes, I said it!
While Voodoo, known to some as a good religion it is Hoodoo that is looked at as evil. I won't elaborate, check it out for yourself, a sista has got to go....the Lord is my shepard, I shall not want, he maketh me to lie down in greens pastures, he restoreth my soul.....
BTW, I can't wait to see Déjà Vu with Denzel Washington, filmed in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina.
Monday, November 20, 2006
This is a pic of my Maternal Grandmother as a teenager and she is still alive and well standing 5'8" at 86 years old living down in the Bayou of Louisiana. Talk about a fire cracker, with quick come backs and lots of wisdom!
Her father was a Creole from Natchitoches, Louisiana (where Steel Magnolia's was filmed) and her mother was half African American and half Blackfoot Indian from South Louisiana. My great-great grandmother was full blooded Blackfoot and lived to be 106 years old. (I've met both my great & great-great grandmothers)
Grandma went against all rules and married my grandfather a tall, humorous, proud African American man, "cool" and straight out of Hazelhurst, Mississippi. Of this union 10 children were born. Thus, my mother's blood line.
If you ever want a good read on French Louisiana heritage and culture "Cane River" would be one to start with.
Pictured here is my Paternal Granny, whom I'll never forget. I was 22 when she died and she too was a firecracker. Yep, I come from a family of firecrackers, pistols, shotguns. What ever you want to call them. They did not play!
Granny could never pronounce my name correctly, she would always say "Luchinda, com here sha ba-ba!"
A capitalist of her time, she owned a local grocery store and Juke Joint/Pool Hall and could barely speak proper English. (French Creole was her first language.) Every now and then she'd give us a cookie or two but for the most part, all of us grandchildren had to earn whatever we received.
Granny's great grandfather was from Haiti and he was known to be one of the first black families to own a phone (when others did not have one) in our small town area. He came over from Haiti via the banks of New Orleans and settled in a rural town called Soileau. Granny's mother was married to a Frenchman and my Granny married a Creole Frenchman hence my fathers Creole bloodline.
Frenchmen are non black and Creole Frenchmen are of mixed race, some also refer to Creoles as Mulatto, which I loathe because the word is derived from the word from "mulo", translated mule. Must our mixed race have such a negative connotation? Why do we have to be mules? That's a whole different subject, I digress, I'll blog about that one when my energy is up to par!
If it were not for the strength and struggles that I observed in these great women of my family I could have never become the woman I am today. These two are my Coretta Scott Kings!
Here are a few of my lineage Louisiana names:
My South Louisiana Townships:
My Favorite Louisiana Stuff
Any occasion (lol)
Surname of friends & relatives I grew up with:
Herbert (pronounced A-bear)
Favorite Plantation Homes
A Feast of All Saints-Creole History
Slap Ya Mamma
My new blog name has been change to "Creyole" in dedication to my dear grandmothers. A special thanks to them for passing down my strange hair type that bunches so easily and also, to my Granny for the mustache, I have to get a nice waxing every six weeks or so. LOL!!
Now, some of you can relate a why I gave my family the blog names below, here you go:
My Hubby - Beignet "French delicious doughnut sold at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans"
Son - Roux "the base for making a gumbo"
Daughter - Praline "famous Louisiana candy"
Me - Creyole "pronounced cre-ole"
Laissez le bon temps rouler! Translated "Let the Good Times Roll"
Read here for more on French Creoles!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I guess they are not giving into me no matter how often I retighten them or give much attention so.....I'm going to leave well enough alone and just let them be.
Whoever said locking takes patience.....was most certainly correct!!
Lately, I've been free styling and allowing them to go any direction they so please. Maybe I'll get the holiday bug and do a little styling sometime soon. Regardless. I must admit I still love my locks!!!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Praline and I were in Starbucks one day and she ran up to me and said "mom this lady looks like you!" (to say the least, I felt honored that she looks 20 years younger than I actually am).
It was a CD by Corinne Bailey Rae, besides gospel we often listen to neo soul and we decided to try it out. To our surprise every song was a hit, for us that is. We call her a cross between Macy Gray and Jill Scott.
When we got home I googled her and found that the evil "racism" exists even in England today. Check it out a little of her story I found on the the internet.....
She was born February 26,1979 and is an acclaimed English singer and Songwriter who released her eponymous debut album in February 2006. Rae was named the number one predicted breakthrough act of 2006 in an annual BBC poll of music critics. The poll's predictions subsequently came true, as she became only the fourth female British act in history to have her first album debut at number one.
Rae was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, to a Kittitian father and an English mother and she was the eldest of three daughters. She used to be racially abused on a regular basis while growing up, even though her verbal attackers mistakenly thought she was of Pakistani origin. She says about the situation, "My sisters and I were different and people used to say, 'Ah, aren't they cute, the little chocolate children, and look at their hair.' "I know they were only being cute but it was over the top. "Then people from other schools would shout, 'Paki' to me because it was the most common racist insult of the time. At least if you're going to do it, get it right. "I used to shout back, 'But my dad isn't from Pakistan, he's from St Kitts - so there.
She began her musical career at school where she studied classical violin before she turned her attention to singing: "I started off singing in church, I suppose, but people think it must have been a gospel church because of the whole, you know, black assumption," she says in reference to her mixed-race background. "But it wasn't gospel at all, it was just your regular Brethren church, very middle-class, where we would sing these harmonies every Sunday. It was always my favourite part of the service, the singing. Rae later transferred to a Baptist church, where the choir would sing traditional hymns. "We changed the words though," Rae states on her website. "We didn't want to offend the regular churchgoers, now did we?