Newspaper Page Text
Picturesque Huts of the Poor White Natives of Cuba, Whose Chidren Are Stolen by the Negroes for Human Sacrifice.
Two Voodoo Priests Caught After Weird Ceremonials and the Murder of a Little Whifp Clir! HE police authorities of Cuba are greatly pleased with the capture of two Voodoo priest?, Jose de la Cruz and Eugenio 'Carde nas. If these two negroes fan bo convicted and executed for the hu man sacrifice of Engenla Hernandez, tho six-year-old white girl, it i" hoped that It will he the entering wedge in breaking up the wicked Voodoo ceremonials which are prac ised all over the island. It has always been extremely dif ficult to prove a case of religious murder, because the negroes lire in great fear of revealing what goes on during the rites. White children disappear with distressing fre quency, and now and then the muti lated body of a little white girl is found, nfter the Voodoo ceremonials are over. In the case of the two Voodoo priests there seems to be sufficient evidence to secure a conviction. It was on the night of November 25 that Cruz and Cardenas took little Eugenia. It is claimed that the ne groes obtained permission of the parents of the child to draw a small amount of blood from the child's body, for the purpose of curing a glck woman named Snlvadora Aro jana. They went through the usual weird ceremonies and incantation^, in the presence of the parents, pre paratory to taking tho blood. The little girl was seized, but man aged to free herself and ran to her mother, clinging to her skirts. This action was repeated by the child each time she saw the knife in the "wiz ard's" hands. This interference with their ceremonials prompted the ne OToes to try to start the child's blood running by an explosion of powder, but the explosion proved eo violent that it killed the child. This explanation is discredited by the police authorities, who expect to show that little Eugenia was bled to death purposely. The practise of voodoolsm in the Western Hemisphere is some 2T.0 years old. It was brought here with the first cargo of human flesh from Darkest Africa, which landed on the shores of Cuba in the middle of the seventeenth century. From the start the illiterate Span iard and the illiterato white Cuban became fascinated by the wonderful doings of the African fanatics, Hnd to-day voodoolsm is almost as preva lent among the West Indian whites as it is among the negroes. Indeed, tho "white fanatic is said to be even more hopeless than his negro co worslilpper. During the years the revolting bo llef has flourished in the Western continent It has undergone many superficial changes, although the foundation of the sacrifice has re mained unchanged. Many sects have developed, and to one of these called the "Bembe,'' the two pris oners belonged. The sect of the "Bnmbe" makes a strong point of pyrotechnic displays at its ceremonials, and Is the lead ing "curative" faction of the wor ship. That is. where other sects specialize on the saitisfaetlon of re venge. of hatred, unsatisfied love and so on, the "Bembe" are the medicine men of voodoo. The temple and abode of Jose, where the child was killed, ir a long, narrow, low roofed hut on the out skirts of the town. Religious meet ings were regularly held there twice a week. Both Jose and Cardenas are full blooded negroes, as all the priests of voodoo must be. What actually occurred at this meeting is Involved in a mass of con tradictory stories, but the following authoritative account furnished by a well-informed Cuban of the usual pro gramme followed at orgies of this kind is enlightening: "It Is a fact well known to every Cuban and to everyone who has re sided in the island for any length of tiuie," he declared, "that these fan atic orgies take place right In the heart of the city of Havana. "At these meetings 'el balle del Saute,' or the dance of the Saint, is a regular feature. "The high priest sits on his throne, a certain prayer is offered, and, at a nod of his head, the drums begin to beat. He picks out three or four girls?the best-looking ones, as a rule. "These girls strip to the ?waist, pick up tiieir .skirts and tie them in a manner that leaves them bare thigh and leg, and the daneo Is on. They perspire, they snort, the stamping of their feet goes on with ever increas ing fury; the priest hits them now and then with the sacred stick, to urge them on; ho watches them with a keen eye, notices that one of them is near the point of exhaustion and then gives the word that 'the saint' is coming. "The ring around the dancer3 widens. A way is made open for the priest to come to the door and wel come the saint; the exhausted dancer falls in a fit. The priest rushes to her side and carries her tenderly to an inner room fitted with an altar. She is now in a trance and 'possessed* of 'the saint.' "The faithful come in one by one and state their cases; the priest in terprets her sighs and moans as answers. The sick get bis prescrip tion, the jealous husband learns whether he is right or wrong In his suspicions, the lovesick obtains a recipe for the attainment of his ends. Little by little consciousness comes back, the trance Is over, the saint Is gone and the orgies are on. "That little Maria was nude at the time of the explosion is established not only by Jose's admission, but by the fact that her clothing was found intact. "Jose declared that she was dancing nude in accordance with the rules of the ritual ceremony, but he claims that the girl's death was due en tirely to the explosion which was caused by the ignition of a bottle of alcohol. Against this, however, it is pointed out that the injuries sus tained by the others were of the most superficial character. "Whether the explosion was the real cause of the child's death, a9 the voodoo priest said, or whether the incision went too far und the frightened priest decided to cover the whole thing by the explosion, which Cuban Negro Children. These Children Are Not Sacrificed. It Is the Blood of the White Children Which Is Valued for Religious Ceremonials and for the Cure of the Sick. the police say was undoubtedly caused by gunpowder and not alco hol, is still a mystery." Those who are familiar with the orgies committed in the practise of voodooism declare, however, that If the little girl was really killed by the explosion, whether it was of gun powder, as the police claim, or ot alcohol, as the fanatics contend. she escaped a death ten times worse than what she underwent. As already stated, both the word "Voodoo," and tho religion, are of West Airlcan origin. Tho word be longs to the Ewe tongue, a language A Voodoo Taboo House in Africa. It Is from Africa That the Religion of Voodooism Came Which lIs Now Practiced in Cuba spoken on tlio slave coast, In tho district between the River Volta, on the West, and the kingdom of lJorto Novo, on the East. Tho original spelling is "Vodu." It is derived from the verb "vo," to fear, or to inspire fear. The na tives do not apply tho name to any gpecial god, but to all fear-inspiring supernatural manifestations. The practise of voodooism, however, concentrates the fearsome attri butes in a snake?the python. The cult inaugurated a sort of priesthood ?a priest and a priestess for each community, called "papa" and "mamma"?by means of which the snake deity could communicate with its worshippers and demand its murderous sacriHces. Using* Electrical Treatment for Sick and Rheumatic Do^s, Cats and Horses electric current is "being jj used with great success for the treatment of many dis eases of liorses, cats, dogs and other enlmals," says Dr. W. P. .Tonkins, tho , |most fashionable animal doctor lr Is'ow York. '?The current is particularly useful in curing lameness, rheumatism, dis eases of the nerves and the digestive organs Some very Ingenious appli ances have been devised for admin istering the current safely and ef fectively, as may be seen from the accompanying illustrations. "Various animals behave very dif ferently when subjected to the cur rent. One horse will kick violently when he feels the current. Another will submit to it wlLh perfect calm ness. As a rule it. Is wise to enclose ?a horse in a strongly built stall, with four sides, before giving him treat ment, as a wild horse is like ly to cnuse serious trouble. "The dog will usually sub mit to a light current very easily and will sometimes show pleasure in the treat ment. "In order to treat a cat electrically it is always necessary to secure the animal firmly, as It is cer tain to rebel against treatment. The cat will never voluntarily submit to any constraint by man. "The faratllc and galvanic currents are both used to test the sensitive ness of tho skin anil to find out whether there is any hidden injury to nerves or muscles. The involuntary muscular response, to the current will show whether the muscles work together properly. This is very use ful with horses, for they are often permanently crippled if they are worked when one muscle Is out of order. 'The faradic current is most valu able In treating lameness and troubles of the external nerves and organs. The galvanic current is more em ployed for the treatment of the ex ternal nerves and muscles. The latter form of current is also used in the treatment of abscess and catarrhal affections. "The commonest troubles in horses treated by electricity are lameness of the hips, the back and the shoulders. These troubles often disappear as If by magic under the application of an Induct lou current. Very often one ap plication of the current is sufficient to cure a trouble that has made the poor horse unfit for work. Tho ani mals respond to this treatment much more readily than human beings. "Stomach and intestinal troubles of cats and dogs nvo frequently cured with the faradic current. A German newspaper reports that the favorite poodle of a Princess wa.^ cured of an intestinal catarrh that had threat ened his life after three applications o? the current." A'Rheumatic Horse Getting an Electric and Vapor Bath. A (Rheumatic Dog Receiving High Frequency Currents of Healing Electrictiy. Cppyrlght, 1014, by the Star Company. Great Britain Rights Reserved. A Cat Being Treated to a Healing Current After an Operation*! ? * ? a;