Episode 2.3: The Jumbies

Happy Midsummer and Matariki (Māori New Year)! June’s full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon, Oak Moon, Honey Moon, Mead Moon, Rose Moon, and Basil Moon.

In this episode we discuss The Jumbies (audiobook), written by Tracey Baptiste and narrated by Robin Miles.

Our theme song is “Moon and Spruce” by Sarah Littledrum.

Here’s a listening guide for the episode. (For a description of our segments, go here.)

Introduction (0:00 – 4:42)

Which Craft? (4:46 – 13:21)

  • Story inspired by Caribbean fairy tales like “The Magic Orange Tree”
  • Island setting, Caribbean culture
  • Audiobook narration: wide range of voices that reflects the diversity of the Caribbean
  • Reading songs in books
  • The early reveal of Severine’s identity and humanization of her character
  • Reinforcing the theme of balance by alternating points of view

“Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?” (13:27 – 31:22)

  • Nuanced depiction of “bad” characters
  • Multiculturalism in the Caribbean reflected in the characters
  • Celebration of dark skin
  • Core group of friends: 2 girls and 2 boys
  • Malik as a non-verbal character
  • Overlapping issues of indigeneity, colonization, slavery, and immigration
  • Fear of the unknown, “us vs. them”
  • Biracial bodies, merging of different communities

Related Links

Colonization of the Caribbean: Before Europeans

Slavery in the Caribbean

“We Are Not a Nation of Immigrants”: “We should say: We are a Nation of Immigrants, Descendants of Chattel Slavery & First Peoples of this Land. This would compel all Americans to acquaint themselves to the true history and sacrifices of this land that carved out the opportunities they now enjoy.”

“Bald Heads and Queer Noses” (31:28 – 39:12)

  • Jumbie bodies
  • The witch’s body and her shriveled arm
  • The loss of Dru’s hair

“Round About the Cauldron Go” (39:18 – 51:52)

  • Opening scene: Corinne running through the forest chasing her mother’s necklace–sets up centrality of the island enviornment and Corinne’s growing power
  • The witch’s magic vs. Corinne’s magic (both based in natural world) and the liminal spaces they inhabit
  • White witch vs. green woman
  • Severine’s cooking vs. Corinne’s oranges
  • Severine as force of death, Nicole as a force of life
  • Corinne saves the frog, then the frog saves her

Related Links

The Green Man

“Treguna, Mekoides, Trecorum, Satis, Dee!” (51:58 – 57:09)

  • Forming Magic–connected to child-bearing?
  • All Hallow’s Eve and graveyards
  • Importance of the ocean and the fish folk
  • Wax figure of Corinne’s mother

Final Spells (57:14 – 1:00:55)

  • Logistics of interspecies reproduction
  • Not your regular “dead mother” trope

New Segment! Lunar Rituals with Jenny (1:01:00 – 1:06:43)

  • Lovely suggestions for celebrating the summer solstice
  • Thoughts about the power of oranges (and the sun)
  • Rituals for the Basil Moon

Re: our comments about family separations at the border. We recorded this episode before the new Executive Order. However, most of the families that were separated have not yet been reunited, and those that have are still being held in internment camps. You can help by calling your representatives and donating to the following organizations:

You may also want to participate in a Families Belong Together event on June 30.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s