Jamaica was the first Anglophone Caribbean colony to outlaw obeah, starting in 1760 with the “Act to Outlaw the Evils arising from the Irregular Assemblies of Slaves. “The country retains a nineteenth century act outlawing obeah. Many other Caribbean countries retain anti-obeah legislation, often modeled on Jamaica’s laws—as we have seen, there are several Bahamian laws that illegalize such practices as fortune-telling or professing to heal or harm through the use of supernatural means. Write an expository research essay of 5 – 6 pages in which you contrast and compare the current anti-obeah legislation of the Bahamas and Jamaica. Your goal is to answer this question: “What can the differences between how obeah is defined in both countries and how obeah-related aspects of life are punished in both countries tell us about the type of harm and the level of harm obeah is understood to pose in Bahamian society?” [5 – 6 pages; include at least 3 scholarly sources in your paper.]
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