Who ever said that Guyanese culture is not alive must be bloody dead by now. It came across to us as shocking and bizarre, that killing of a guyanese woman in Bare Root on Saturday for reasons best known to the creator.
Residents are clearly sying that the woman had to be killed because she appeared to be a blood sucking spirit , some sort of vampire. They call them Ole Higues in Guyana.
We don't know much about these evil spirits...But here is bit of history if your are ignorant like us.
Also known as "Fire Rass", she is the Guyanese equivalent of a vampire. Ole-Higue is always female. She sucks the blood of unsuspecting victims as they sleep. Her favorite victims are young children.
The Ole-Higue's distinguishing feature is the fact that during the day she lives among other Guyanese as a somewhat introverted and quietly old lady, maybe you know one… she possibly lives at the edge of your village.
At night this seemingly harmless old woman removes her skin, places it gently in a calabash and travel across the sky as a ball of fire heading to the home of her intended victim. To enter the home she shrinks herself and enters through the keyhole.
Guyanese believe that there are 3 ways to catch an Ole-Higue:
*To turn the key while she is trying to get through the key hole. As a result even today many Guyanese lock their doors and then turn their key to a horizontal position to allow an Ole-Higue to make it part way into the hole. The rustling of the key should wake the tenant who can then turn the key fully and crush the Ole-Higue. The next morning one should see a pile of bones on the doorstep.
*To find the skin of the Ole-Higue in the Calabash and put hot peppers in the skin, an Ole-Higue who tries to wear this skin will be burned by the pepper and then sing a well know song…Lawd skin yuh ing kno me?… why yuh bite me?
*Since the Ole-Higue is of Dutch and Afro-Guyanese heritage the Dutch side makes her miserly. The easiest way to catch her is to spill rice grains on the floor in front of your front door. As the Ole-Higue enters your house she will be compelled to count every rice grain.
A smart Guyanese will make sure there a large helping of rice on the floor and no bags in sight. As a result the Ole-Higue will have to pick up the grains with her right hand and place counted grains in her left hand.
As is to be expected her hands can only hold so many rice grains and it is only a matter of time before the grains begin to fall back to the ground and the process begins again. When the home owner awakes the next morning he/she should find a very tired and incredibly distressed Ole-Higue counting rice. At this point in time a smart Guyanese will beat the woman to death with a special anti-Ole-Higue broom.