Maljo (Mal Yeaux) & Jharay (Jaray) | Yuh is ah Trini!

Triniglish | Trinididioms spoken and explained #103 - Maljo/Jharay; Yuh Iz Ah Trini series.
This thing has been dragging on for too long, and the child is not improving. Leah's parents are at their wits' end. Baby Girl has been sick for one week; she is not eating much and vomits whenever she manages to take a mouthful or two. What is wrong? The doctors don't know what is taking place, and the problem still exists. Hello people... Wake up and say, "Jharay de Chile, she has been struck with the 'evil eye' because she is just too damn cute!" So who would do such a thing to such a young child? The malady is maljo, and the cure is to jharay the person!

Well, listen up... Mal Yeaux (pronounced Maljo in Trinbago), or as some would say, 'the evil eye' or 'evil eye' can be cast by just anyone—even your next-door neighbor! Ask any Trinidadian. Any type of pain or discomfort can be blamed on good 'ole Maljo. Now, when one thinks of this malady, in the traditional sense, the conclusion is that only babies can get maljo... If you assume that, then you are completely wrong. 

Think back to a time when you were a child growing up in Trinidad. Think really hard because I will refer to something you have seen, forgotten, or never really thought about. Can you recall seeing blue bottles lining your neighbor's fence? Some of the blue bottles (like the milk of magnesia bottles) were strategically placed in the four corners of the lot, or, as I have observed, they lined the boundaries of the lot. Now, why would someone go to all this trouble? Do you think it was a way to decorate, be unique, or just another way to use bottles? No, no, no, these bottles were placed there to ward off evil spirits and people who carried malicious spirits looking for an unsuspecting host—yes, the adults believed they too could become victims of Maljo! For some reason unknown to me, blue bottles were believed to repel evil spirits; this could also be accomplished personally by wearing Jumbie beads. Of course, you remember Jumbie beads; can you recall? They were the red and black beads that came from a pod that children played with; they were laced into a bracelet and worn to ward off evil. 

OK, so what happens if you did not take the necessary precautions and, for some reason, you got the "bad-eye", "mal yeaux hex," and your spirit became very troubled, leaving you restless and very ill? As a child growing up in Trinidad, I saw a ceremony performed to get rid of this 'spirit sickness'. The village's most skilled and experienced residents conducted a formal ceremony to resolve this issue. It was usually done as part of an East Indian ritual. The way to get rid of evil was a ritual called "Jharay" (in simple terms, to clean or get deep down dirty to exorcise demons). 

Now how is "Jharay done?" Now I had to call a few people to put this one together. Each person said something different, but some commonalities stood out. The main component was five (5). The materials and sayings were all done in fives. It is a healing prayer that suppresses the evil eye spell, forces it to leave the person, and enters a packet of ingredients that are then burned to destroy evil or simply sent back to the person from whom it came. This ceremony, as I can recall, was mostly to purge evil from children. However, Trinidadians use the Jharay to remove evil and sickness. However, we will remove the 'evil eye' that causes a child's soul to suffer!

As previously indicated, an elderly East Indian woman, priest, or someone who has performed the jharay ceremony over the years (often an older, experienced nana or nani) usually performs it. I have read about the use of peacock feathers in the ceremony. However, I can't remember seeing any feathers on display or worn in my neighborhood. Five cocoyea leaves (from the coconut tree branch) are utilized. The green leaf is stripped from the stalk (the stalk is utilized in the ceremony). This stalk is the same unit used to make cocoyea brooms. These brooms are used in just about any traditional Trinidadian home, not only to sweep the house or yard but also to beat out evil spirits (this applies to all people of Trinidad, not just East Indians). Now that the cocoyea stalks have been acquired, the rest of the ingredients used include the following: 5 bird peppers (pronounced bud peppers), five cloves of garlic, some salt (maybe just a pinch), and in some cases black pepper seeds are added—everything is added in fives. The smaller ingredients are wrapped in paper or cloth and passed over the child five times in a circular motion. The same is done with cocoyea sticks. The key to the ceremony is the prayer said while the jharay is performed. The prayer itself is also repeated five times. In a traditional sense, the prayer is said in Hindi, but in the real world, it is said in English. The priest or priestess simply tells the evil spirit to return to the sender. After this is done, the ingredients used in the jharay are burned. This part of the ceremony (the burning) is done as a final right to destroy the bad spell, but caution must be taken at this point. No one is supposed to look at the burning ingredients. Just as is the case in the Bible, where, fleeing from Sodom, Lot's wife disobeyed the advice of the angels and looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when the cocoyea sticks and ingredients involved in the jharay are prepared and set ablaze, one must not look in that direction, or else the evil spirit will come to you and attach itself to your soul.

Now that ends the Mal Yeaux and Jharay story. However, I can't tell you that Mal Yeaux (Maljo) is real or even if the ritual of purging the evil eye (Jharay) really works. In order for the Jharay to work, one has to believe Mal Yeaux (Maljo) is real. All I can say is that I was there when the Jharay was done, and I was told that the child had Mal Yeaux (Maljo). This belief does not only exist in Trinidad but on various islands and countries across the Americas and India. South America's Spanish lands have similar beliefs; we are not alone. Just remember that when modern medicine can't find a reason for your illness, it could be the cause of a symptom of a hex from someone with a 'bad eye' (Maljo) or Mal Yeaux (Maljo). Remember the cure, Jharay (Jaray)! 

Now that Leah's parents have figured out what could be wrong with her, they are still perplexed; indeed, to repeat what I said before, they cannot think about what to do. They live in New York City, not in the Caribbean, where ingredients are readily available. I am leaving the comment section open for anyone to provide advice! 

We conclude the post with two songs for your entertainment. However, for those intrigued by the process to remove the evil eye, we added another video that would be of interest to those interested in the actual process.

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‏قال غير معرف…
THanks for the explanation. Growing up in an Indian household in Trinidad I have had this done for me many times but there is a shortcut easy way as well, which is to simply take some salt in your hand and circle the person/child five times while saying your prayer, then immediately go and wash the salt away. The whole time you must not talk, aside from the prayer or even say out loud that you are going to Jahray the person, you just do it. I suppose so the spirits are not warned and don't hold on tighter or something. I am sure the other way or probably better but this can be used when it is late at night and you can't find all those ingredients, maybe upset, colicky baby or something...
‏قال غير معرف…
أزال أحد مشرفي المدونة هذا التعليق.
‏قال غير معرف…
All this seme deme just call on the name of Jesus Christ who is mighty to save
‏قال غير معرف…
Jesus Christ is all well and good pray to him to heal you and I am 100% sure it will work because you believe it will
The same with the Jaray prayer people,believe it will work and said it did all because of believing it will and it 100% did for,them so let's not discount others and their belief
‏قال غير معرف…
Who can do this ??Can a parent who has never done anything like this do it??
‏قال Unknown
What is the best prayer to say while doin this
‏قال Unknown
I did this for my nephew this morning i used garlic skin onion skin a pinch of salt a pinch of flour and seven pieces pepper u used it if u have no bud peppers.
‏قال Unknown
Wat is put into a blue bag
‏قال Unknown
Hi what pray to say
‏قال Unknown
How should the circular motion be done, clockwise or anticlockwise?
‏قال Unknown
My wife did this this morning for my daughter..but 7 bud pepper was used ..garlic skin...onion skin..salt facing east then burn
‏قال Intooit
I could relate to this article tremendously. My name is Leah just like the little girl spoken about and I did contract Maljo as a kid just like her. My mom took me to a East Indian woman and she did something like a prayer/ceremony to me and I was immediately cured. I never knew what she did but all I remembered as a kid 6years old that I felt better after it. I still talk about that experience to this day but never could find anyone who had the same experience. I'm glad I found this article because while reading it I immediately started remembering some of the details that corresponded to the stuff in the article.