Friday, February 3, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - C - Cocoyea Broom

Cocoyea Broom

In the Caribbean, many homes have a broom which is made by tying together the spines of coconut fronds. To make it is simple. Get a few branches from the coconut tree, strip the fronds, keeping the center spine. When you have stripped enough that your hand can get around to grip, tie the bundle at the end, making sure of course that all the narrower ends are facing the same direction. This is the Cocoyea Broom.

The broom still exists in many rural homes for practical use. It really make a good all surface broom. It is used indoors, great for tiled, wooden and carpeted floors. It is used outdoors, dirt, concrete and even sweeping up garbage left by the stray pothounds, (stray mongrels) all over your lawn....or the neighbour’s.
But the broom has spiritual significance as well. It is associated with cleansing...spiritual cleansing. My island, Trinidad and Tobago has a large population of both people of African and East Indian descent, but I suspect it is a tradition brought by the Yoruba of African.

“Whaddap Cocoyea! Oye yoy yoy!| Is a popular tune written by the Mighty Shadow (Calypsonian) which is a story about using the cocoyea broom to spiritually cleanse a person or an area. Many of us know the  image of an older person hunched forward sweeping the area in front of their home temple before the morning puja. They are also seen in Orisha worship, in cleansing a person of an evil spirit.
I find it interesting that the African Tradition of “Jumping the Broom” at a wedding ceremony was not adopted here in the Caribbean until the 1970’s.

I suppose brooms have the same spiritual significance in many cultures, no matter what they are made from. I use mine for ritual cleansing prior to casting a circle.

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