Sacred Texts  Africa  Index  Previous  Next 
 [28. Brother Dead and the Brindle Puppy.]


28. Brother Dead and the Brindle Puppy.

The second story of "Brother Dead" is mixed up with obeah beliefs and it is hard to tell where the pattern ends and improvisation begins. Brother Dead, like the sorcerer, evidently sends a shadow in the shape of a brindled pup to pursue and catch Anansi. The song, meanwhile, plays a part in the conjuring. Words and tune are African. The old Maroon who gave me the trap-setting picture of "Brar Dead" quoted in the note to the last number, concluded as follows:

"When he (Dead) ketch to a cross-path, tek him lance an' see one little maugre dog into a hole an' dig him out an' say to de puppy, 'Ai! Brar, fo' kitty a shall man bra!' If he had caught Anansi, he would kill Anansi"

I was unable to get an explanation of the sorcerer's phrase.

Compare, for the guardian dog, the story of Sarah Wintun by Lewis, 291, and see number 72. Jamaica sorcerers send a helping spirit in animal form to work their revenge.

Next: Note 29. The Cowitch and Mr. Foolman.