In wide sargasso sea magic such as christopines is

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arise from her practice of magic, as weapons against oppression. In Wide Sargasso Sea, magic such as Christopine’s, is used as a personal way to challenge oppression and the will of the colonizer. Just like Christophine, Rebekah McKenzie, in Tiphanie Yanique’s novel, Land of Love and Drowning,is an Obeah woman who uses her magic to help other women in the village maintain some agency in their own lives. Rebekah practices Obeah for the public from a booth at the local market, “Rebekah loved the market. She loved the noise and the interaction. Loved the power. Loved using the power she had” (Yanique 34). Rebekah is a poor, black, single mother, so in the
133 Journal of International Women’s StudiesVol. 17, No. 3 June 2016 eyes of the colonizing man and society, she should not have any power. Yet, at the market, Rebekah has more power than any man on the island. Rebekah’s belief in her own magic not only helps the other women on the island gain agency, but also helps Rebekah live life on her terms. The main reason Rebekah has power over many men on the island is that she can give women abortions. In a patriarchy where the man keeping the wife pregnant is valued, abortion is a powerful magic to wield. Yanique describes Rebekah’s use of magic: So Rebekah could do things. She could make the blood in your body course saltwater—burn you from the inside out. Erode your womb as if it were in a tin until the eggs inside rattled like a beggar shaking a cup… Every woman on the island knew what Rebekah McKenzie could do (34-35). By giving women abortions, Rebekah is making sure that they have some sense of independence. Even if the colonizer, in this case their husbands, wants them to be pregnant all the time, they no longer have to worry about giving birth to a baby that they do not want. Once a woman has a child, here is more societal pressure to stay living in the subjugation of the colonizer. Not only that, but when you bring the children into the world, it is just one more thing for the man to control. Rebekah uses her Obeah to fight back against the patriarchy by making sure her fellow women have power over their own lives. Even though these women in the village are perceived as weak, Rebekah’s magic helps to give them a voice. The Obeah that Rebekah practices is a magic that has been supporting the marginalized in the Caribbean for generations. Margarite Olmos’ views help put Rebekah’s Obeah into context; “Obeah, thus conceived, is not a religion so much as a system of beliefs rooted in Creole notions of spirituality, which acknowledges the existence and power of the supernatural world and incorporates into its practices witchcraft, sorcery, magic, spells, and healing” (131). Rebekah incorporates spells, and other rituals into her abortions, thus rooting them into the common belief system. Rebekah uses her Obeah as a way to help heal the lives of the women on the island. This dependence on Rebekah forces the island women to respect her, even if they don’t particularly like her. Even though she is considered an outcast, and everyone knows of her infidelity, she manages

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