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Definitions of "BALM"

1. BALM (Noun)


A system of folk healing widely practised in Jamaica. The practitioner is called a 'balmist', 'balm lady' or 'balm man' . Most balmists maintain their own healing centre and church in a compound called a 'balmyard' though some will also travel to nearby places to hold services. The best balmists rely almost exclusively on native herbs (called 'bush') of which they have a thorough knowledge. They will 'read' or diagnose the patient by various means and their treatment usually includes bush baths as well as bush 'teas'. Balmyards are usually identified by a cluster of flags and banners. The practice of balm probably comes down to us through the old magico-religious cult of MYAL and is today identified with two groups, REVIVALISM and OBEAH, which are also associated with Myal. It should be noted, however, that a balmist might be a revivalist and/or an obeah practitioner, or might not be identified with either group.

Related Words

Abeng , Accompong , Ackee , ADELPHI ,

posted by anonymous on November 9, 2023

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The History of Jamaican Patois

Hello there, fellow language lovers! Today, we'll look at the history of Jamaican Patois, a creole language based on English that is spoken in Jamaica. Jamaican Patois is deeply embedded in Jamaican history and culture, and as we explore its origins and unique features, we'll discover how it became an integral part of Jamaican national identity.

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