Tag Archives: curse

Asabache Amulets

Higa, Figa and Ásabache Amulets

Spanish seamen, being very superstitious, thought it brought bad luck to pass by some of the “cursed islands”. To deflect this bad luck some thought that by passing a cursed islands on the north side would bring better luck while others thought that passing by on the south side was better.

It was the perception that the devil brought storms and that many places were cursed. This is why the crew had to use something to protect themselves against this evil. Especially the evil eye.

The higa or
figa, it is thought, was first used as a good luck charm, worn around the neck for protection. It seems that some were also quite large and they were also used to protect the animals such as horses or dogs. There have been many found in shipwrecks and along the beaches many of which are on display the Museo de las Cases Reales de Santo Domingo.

Asabache charms made from amber and black coral
Asabache charms made from amber and black coral

Ásabache or Figa

are small hand shaped luck amulets. The hand is clenched into a fist with the thumb sticking up between the index and second fingers.

These amulets have can be made from many different substances including coral, wood, ivory, natural crystal, jet and gold. They can be made from any material that could be formed into this fist shape.

There have been other items found, such as spoons and boxes, that are embellished with the

In some countries the figa is considered to be obscene because of the hand gesture it represents.

VooDoo Curse

VooDoo Curse on the Cincinnati Red’s

It was said that pitcher Pedro Borbon (he was into voodoo, curses and cockfighting) of the Cincinnati Red’s (said to be one of the finest pitching arms to ever come from Dominican Republic) was so angry at being traded in 1979 that he put a voodoo curse on the Reds that lasted 10 years.

When the curse was finally lifted Borbon said, “Yeah, I lifted it. I told everybody when they traded me that I was putting a curse on them and they’d never win again. The people who did me wrong are not with the team any more, so now I don’t care if they win.”

Curse lifted?

The 1990 Reds finally won their first game. Was this because of the hex that Borbon lifted or just because they played well? We will never know for sure.