There are several superstitions that affect the behaviour of persons in Trinidad and Tobago on a daily basis. They have very short expressions with no long explanations as to how they came about or why people should live by them.
You hear these superstitions in conversations and have simply learned to follow them in order to be on the safe side. They have been passed on for generations through people’s actions, warnings and advice. Here are 13 superstitions that you hear often in the islands.
13 Common superstitions in Trinidad and Tobago
1. Protect hair in comb or when cut
The saying is that after combing out your hair or cutting it off, you must not throw the hair outside or something bad would happen.
It is said that obeah men and women collect the loose hair of persons who throw it away. The hair assists them in performing rituals for their clients. If they are hired to remove sickness from a person, then that disease would be transferred to the person who owns the hair.
Another belief is that if a bird finds your hair and uses it to make a nest, you would get a headache.
To avoid these problems, you should either burn your hair or bury it by a banana tree to promote hair growth. At a salon, some people are known to put their hair in their pants pockets until they can dispose of it safely.
2. Turn your back and walk inside your house
You must turn around at your doorway and walk backwards inside your home to look a jumbie in its eyes. It is said that when a spirit follows you home, it grabs on to your back like a child so that you can carry it with you inside of your house. Turning around and walking backwards into your home scares the jumbie, it jumps off of your back and stays outside.
Good luck superstitions
3. Butterfly and visitors
If you see a butterfly in your home, you would see someone you have not seen in a long time. If the person appears anytime within the month, it is common for a person to notify the visitor that the sign of their visit was given.
4. Green grasshopper and money
If you see a green grasshopper in your home, you would get money. You must ensure that it is not harmed by children and pets in your home in order to secure your upcoming fortune.
5. Pigeon droppings and luck
If a pigeon drops a load on your head, face, shoulders or back, you would receive good luck. Usually, the good luck means that you would get an unexpected large sum of money.
6. Black eyed peas and prosperity
Eat black eyed peas on Old Year’s night for prosperity into the New Year. Many locals cook and eat pelau made with black eyed peas or have stewed black eyed peas with white rice and meat on the last day of each year to enhance their chances of good fortune.
7. Itchy hand and money
When you scratch an itch on your left hand, it means you are going to receive money. If the itch is on your right hand, then you would lose money. This superstition is the reverse for many persons. They claim that they get money when the itch is on their right hand and lose money when it is on their left.
8. Sweeping away money
Do not throw away money in any form into the garbage because you are sweeping away your chances to be rich in the future. People usually stoop down and pick out the pennies, nickels and quarters from the dust in the scoop while sweeping to avoid this bad luck.
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Bad luck superstitions
9. Pointing at a cemetery
If you point your finger at a cemetery, it would rotten and fall off. People usually pass a cemetery without looking in its direction to avoid any bad luck that the spirits may bring.
10. Sweeping feet and marriage
Do not sweep the feet of a young woman with a broom because she would never get married. If you are female and someone sweeps your feet with a broom, then you would never find a husband.
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11. Picking plants at night
Do not pick fruits or the leaves of plants for medicinal purposes after 6 p.m. because the plants are sleeping and something bad would happen to you if you do. If you are going to pick them early in the morning, you must talk to them first to make sure they are awake.
12. Taking back and cataboil
If you give someone something and then take it back, you would get a large bump over your eye called a “cataboil”. The person who is giving back the item usually warns or threatens the person who is taking it back to look out for the hideous cataboil on their forehead.
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13. Ear ringing superstition
When your ear is ringing, it means that someone is speaking badly about you. Persons in Trinidad and Tobago say, “Like somebody bad talking me, my ears ringing.” They usually know the name of the culprit based on personal reasons.
These 13 superstitions are just a few of the spooky sayings that circulate the twin islands. If you have heard these but know different versions, we would love to hear about them in the comments section. Check out more content that we share and feel free to click like and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
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