Sunday, February 21, 2010

Douens- French? Really? Are we sure?




This is a painting from A Codallo, a Trinidadian Artist long past. To the right under the tree is a picture of a DOUEN, a childlike creature with a large hat, whose feet are turned backwards.

Now since we were small, we have been told that these creatures were of French origin, and thats the story we stuck to and repeated to our little ones. But I find it intriguing the the Latin American countries have a creature called "Duendes" which varies in appearance depending on the country.

I am not making any conclusions, but there must be a link, the names are too similar. Maybe the creature is of Spanish origin and the French adopted the name?

The reason I am questioning is that I once sat back and traced an online thread about the Pierrot, right back to Italy...apparently, the character's origins came from Italian street drama, and the French picked it up in their street plays. Mind you, this was no aristocracy here...this was street art......and it became on of our leading Carnival Characters.

This lead me to question a lot of things about our "heritage" But I'll get to that some other time.

Why is this important?

Because we are working with energies in Magick. The energies of the Fae folk on the land in which you live shows the relationship that the people have with the land. Where did the Fae originate? And why, on this island in the Caribbean are the fae so hostile? Or were they originally friendly, and became hostile by what we were told? I question this again, because of what I read about the Silk Cotton Tree in another book about African Plant healing.

Silk Cotton Trees were seen as spiritual holy places, a place to meditate, pray and connect to the ancestors. Which is the total opposite to the fearful stories that we were introduced to about the trees.

Everything we have that is indigineous is attached to fear. Could that be why we as a people feel so fearful of new experiences? Fearful of explorations of the Spirit? Fearful of our own country?

Could be that the colonialists did more damage to our psyche than we care to admit. Or than we want to know.......

1 comment:

life Before Her Eyes said...

I agree, I also believe colonialism has done a lot of damage to our collective psyche here in the Caribbean. Everything that came from the non-whites seems to be exotic, dangerous, 'of-the Devil'...this is resultant from an attitude that Christians and most importantly Ctaholics were God's chosen people to spread light among the unenlightened primitives of the world. I was doing some research recently and was also supised to find we have something of a local goddess here if you will. Mama D'Leau/ Mama Glow/ Mama D'lo (Mother of the Water) whichever name you call her, is actually an epithet of Yemaya, a West African goddess. She was probably brought here by the slaves, and her worship continued in this form.