Definitions starting with Z

ID #2358

zemi

/zémi/ [cf. Taino zemí spirit helper, god (Taylor 1977:21)] n. spirits of the forest, household, dead, etc. associated with the Lucayans, the Amerindians that formerly inhabited the Bahamas: 1962 The Arawaks' religion [included] the belief in spirits or zemis. These resided in sacred trees, in carved images, or in the relics of the dead. Sickness or misfortune was the work of malignant or displeased zemis. Good fortune was a sign that the zemis were pleased ... The greatest public festivals were held to propitiate the tribal zemis, or simply in their honour (Craton 27). (Nassau)

Tags: Lucayan, noun, religion

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Last update: 2010-10-28 15:04
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.0

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