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Superstition – Marriage, Death, Water, Home

Dominican Republic Superstitions – Marriage, Death, Water, Home

The Dominican Republic has many superstitious beliefs that have been passed down through the ages. How to ward off bad luck before it happens and what to do if you make a mistake and those bad omens find you. Read, learn and remember how to prevent bad things from happening to you the Dominican way.

To Marry or Not To Marry | Death and It’s Causes | Rain and Water | Food and Home Superstitions

A Santeria in Dominican Republic where you can purchase all your protection needs.
A Santeria where you can purchase all your protection needs.

Marriage and No Marriage

If you are married or planning on being married or maybe you never want to be married. You might want to read about these superstitions before making any decision.

*It is a catastrophe if one gets married on Tuesday, Friday or in the month of November.

*If a woman opens an umbrella in the house she will never get married

*DO NOT go to a wedding dressed in black this gives bad luck to the couple.

*If a single woman in serving something on a tray and the tray is left empty she should hold it upside down or she won’t get married.

*If a young girl walks under a ladder, she will never marry.

*You can’t sweep a single person’s feet or they will stay single.

*If you cross a set of hands already in a handshake with another handshake, someone will be getting married.

Something buried at the Ruinas del Monasterio de San Francisco.
Something buried at the Ruinas del Monasterio de San Francisco.

Death and Death Causes

How to prevent death and illnesses and what to do if death comes close.

*If you have two lights turned on in a room this will cause death.

*If a dog howls with persistence somebody in the neighborhood will die.

*If a dog barks at night without reason then he is seeing a ghost.

*If all the hens cluck at the same time there will be a death in the family.

Small grave yard in the Batey of Dominican Republic
Small grave yard in the Batey of Dominican Republic.

*If a person goes to the cemetery while ill they will die of that disease.

*Do Not sleep with your feet towards the street. Since this is the way the dead are put to rest this will bring bad luck or even worse death.

*Every time a bottle of alcohol is opened some of the alcohol must be poured onto the floor por los muertos/ for the dead.

*When seeing a funeral procession on the highway make sure to cross yourself or you could be possessed by the dead.

*If your windows are open and a funeral is going by you have to close the windows and wake any sleeping babies. Throw a bucket of water down the steps for good measure.

*Every time you pass a graveyard don’t forget to cross yourself for protection and respect, at both the beginning and end of the graveyard.

Rain and Water

When to avoid bathing, rain or getting wet and when to just dive in and get soaked. These superstitions are used to protect you from the bad omens of fucús.

*If things are going bad, a dip in the ocean will wash away the bad spirits.

*Don’t bathe in the morning – again, you will get gripe (the flu or a cold).

*You must place a cubo de auga / bucket of water at the furthest corner of your house the week of New Year’s. Exactly at midnight you dump the water out the backdoor. The belief is you gather all the bad spirits and feelings of the previous year and you dump them out never to return. (more New Year traditions)

*If you go into a rain shower when the sun is shining you will get sick.

*Taking a bath with rose petals is said to bring Quitar la mala suerte / good luck. Usually done by people who have not won the lottery.

*To make it not rain make a circle of pebbles in your yard. Cover these stones with ashes and say the anti-rain chant “San Isidro Labrador, quita el agua y pon el sol!”

*To protect your crops during a storm with strong winds mount your machete, upside down, on the wall in the farthest corner of the home.

Caught in a rain storm at the Palacio de Borgellá.
Caught in a rain storm at the Palacio de Borgellá.

*If you are caught in a thunder and lightning storm its best to stop talking and close the mouth. Also remove and teeth that are removable because they, the metal in them, are said to be lightning conductors and they can be blown right out of your mouth.

*When the first rain in May falls El Agua de Mayo catch the water with your hands and wash your face. This will get rid of wrinkles and purify. Save some in a jar to use later for whatever ails you.

Food and In the Home Superstitions

Learn how to cleanse a new home before you move Dominican style. And be careful, if you eat certain foods or even drop a utensil this can cause dire consequences or bring unwanted visitors to your home. Some things can even cause death!

*Do not ask a neighbor to lend you salt in the morning. This will bring bad luck.

*Never hand a salt shaker directly to someone, you should always place it on the table first.

*If you drop a fork and the tines of the fork point to the roof (up) an angry sibling will arrive. If the tines of the fork point to the floor the siblings will arrive looking for food or lodgings, a celebration.

*If you drop a knife in the kitchen, a male visitor will be stopping by. If you drop a spoon, it will be a female.

Watermellons for sale
Watermellons for sale but do not eat the seeds.

*If you eat the seeds of a watermelon (Pastilla) you will get stomach pains and die.

*Don’t eat piña/ pineapple too soon after eating eggs.

*You should never drink coffee standing up or any plans that you have made will not happen (se te barajan los planes).

*You cannot eat avocado and drink milk right before bed or you will get bad stomach cramps.

*If a farmer chews tobacco while he plants yucca, the yucca will be bitter.

*Young women just entering puberty may never eat citrus fruits.

A straw or palm frond broom setting outside before use for good luck.
A straw or palm frond broom setting outside before use for good luck.

*A new straw or palm frond broom, before the first use, must be set outside for a day for luck

*Placing a broom behind the door one will receive visitors

*To get rid of a guest who has overstayed their welcome place a broom behind the entry door with the bristle end up.

*Never sweep out the front door of a business.”There go your profits”.

*Place above the front door some sábila/ aloe. This collects all the negative energy of people coming and going.

*If you come across a set of crossed branches on your doorstep, watch out. Someone had done a “job” on you.

*Cover all your mirrors during thunderstorms.

*Standing in a doorway during a thunderstorm could cause the home to be struck with lightning.

*The first time you enter your new house (residence) bring with you oil, salt, bread, a candle and a picture or Jesus or whatever saint you choose. The candle and picture are to bless the house and the oil, salt and bread will always make sure you have food in the house.

*If a wasp comes into the house it brings bad luck.

*Don’t put money under your mattress or you will never get a good nights sleep.

*Never open the fridge after you iron.

*A glass of water placed on a shelf with the image of Santa Clara placed behind it to “they clarify all the ways”.

*Place a sprig of Perejil/ parsley in your home and it will bring you money.

*Bells placed in the doorway ward off evil and are placed there as an advanced warning should spirits enter the home.

*Turning a chair on one leg will bring misfortune.

The Mirabal Sisters Home Museum

La Casa Museo Hermanas Mirabal / The Mirabal Sisters House Museum

The Hermanas Mirabal Museum is located in the second home of the Mirabal family in Conuco, Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo). It is such a beautiful way to remember the 3 sisters who gave their life for the country they loved and the fourth sister who worked to preserve their memories.

The Mirabal Sisters House Museum | Location | Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal and Ecoparque de la Paz | El Obelisco Macho | The story of the Sisters known as the Mariposas

The Entrance to the Hermanas Mirabal Museo - Mirabal Sisters Museum
The Entrance to the Hermanas Mirabal Museo – Mirabal Sisters Museum
Hermanas Mirabal Museo - Mirabal Sisters Museum Garden
Hermanas Mirabal Museo – Mirabal Sisters Museum Garden
The gardens of the Hermanas Mirabal Museo - Mirabal Sisters Museum
The gardens of the Hermanas Mirabal Museo – Mirabal Sisters Museum

The Mirabal Museum is Dedés way to maintain the memory of her 3 sisters before she passed in 2014. Dedé (Bélgica Adela) Mirabal-Reyes used to greet many of the visitors to the museum personally. She is so missed but her family is carrying on the museum and the tradition. Sharing with the world the wonderful stories of the Mirabal Sisters.

The library of the Hermanas Mirabal Museo - Mirabal Sisters Museum
The library of the Hermanas Mirabal Museo – Mirabal Sisters Museum

The grounds are immaculately kept. I love the butterflies, representing their secret group called
Las Mariposas, displayed throughout the grounds. It is a beautiful garden and so tranquil.

Museums Displays

Here are displays of much of the family’s personal effects. Included in the collection is María Teresa’s embroidery and Patria’s teacup collection. In each of the girls rooms are many of their personal items, handkerchiefs, their sewing machines and each of their favorite dresses. I enjoyed seeing the kitchens they had, both indoor and outdoor with many of the original utensils used during that time.

Hermanas Mirabal Museo - Mirabal Sisters Museum Basketball Team
Hermanas Mirabal Museo – Mirabal Sisters Museum Basketball Team
Hermanas Mirabal Museo - Mirabal Sisters Museum Documents
Hermanas Mirabal Museo – Mirabal Sisters Museum Documents

The most powerful items in the collection are the artifacts of the sisters’ murder: the shoes, handbags, and papers, as well as the long braid of hair which Dedé cut from María Teresa’s head in the morgue. The blood stained handkerchief that came from the murder scene is heartbreaking. When I saw this it brought tears to my eyes as it is a very moving and touching display.

Hermanas Mirabal Museo - Mirabal Sisters Museum  Personal Items
Hermanas Mirabal Museo – Mirabal Sisters Museum Personal Items

Located on the property is also a library, bookstore, and souvenir shop.

Location

The Mirabal Sisters Museum/ Museo de las Hermanas Mirabal
Open for Guided tours Tuesday through Saturday. No pictures are permitted to be taken inside the museum.
Contact: 809- 577-2704
Directions: Km 1, Carretera Salcedo Tenares, Conuco, Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo), Dominican Republic

Hermanas Mirabal Museo - Mirabal Sisters Museum  The Four Graves
Hermanas Mirabal Museo – Mirabal Sisters Museum The Four Graves

November 25

On November 25, 2000 (the fortieth anniversary of the Mirabal sisters’ assassination) the remains of the sisters were moved to the grave site on the museum grounds. Here the three sisters are buried together along with Manolo, Minerva’s husband. Dedé is buried in the original family vault, where years before the remains of his three sisters and Manolo Tavarez rested, located at Cementerio Viejo, Ojo de Agua.

The United Nations General Assembly designated November 25, the day the sisters were killed, as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal-   orchids and the entrance to the gardens as you enter the grounds.
The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal- orchids and the entrance to the gardens as you enter the grounds.
The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal -  The side of the main house where Dede lived
The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal – The side of the main house where Dede lived
The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal -The calm patio at the back of the home.
The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal -The calm patio at the back of the home.

The Original Home

The original Mirabal home is still located close to the museum in Ojo de Auga. Here the surviving sister, DeDé lived until her death on February 1, 2014. The gardens are beautiful and so well kept. It is a working farm where they grow orchids and Cacao.

The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal - The outdoor kitchen
The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal – The outdoor kitchen
The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal - area used for cleaning and processing the raw Cacao
The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal – area used for cleaning and processing the raw Cacao
The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal - The drying area for the cacao
The original home of the Hermanas Mirabal – The drying area for the cacao

Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal and Ecoparque de la Paz/ Peace Ecopark and Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal

Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal located in Ojo de Auga
Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal located in Ojo de Auga
Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal - Mirabal Sisters butterfly monument
Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal – Mirabal Sisters butterfly monument

In the park across the street from the original home in Ojo de Auga, Salcedo, where the sister DeDe lived is a small park called Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal. Here is a unique monument that represents 3 butterflies. You can also see the chassis of the jeep from which the ladies took their fateful ride. There is damage to both the front and rear of the vehicle because of the staged crash.

Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal - The chassis of their vehicle
Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal – The chassis of their vehicle
Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal - Mirabal Sisters butterfly monument and baseball field
Plazoleta Hermanas Mirabal – Mirabal Sisters butterfly monument and baseball field

The Park Ecoparque de la Paz/ Peace Ecopark dedicated to the Mirabal sisters is a few feet across the street and down the road from the family home. Funding for this beautiful park is provided by the Fundación Hermanas Mirabal. The organization was originally chaired by Bélgica Mirabal (DeDé) now her son Jaime David Mirabal and Minú Tavarez Mirabal oversee the family history. The park has three paths representing the three sisters who died.

Hermanas Mirabal Ecoparque La Paz - Peace Park, Ojo de Auga.
Hermanas Mirabal Ecoparque La Paz – Peace Park, Ojo de Auga.

The park was designed by architects Michelle de la Cruz, Paloma Hernández y Oliver Guillén. It is a beautiful monument to these 3 patriotic ladies and their sister who remembered them with such grace and love. Thank you to the Mirabal family and all who keep these memories so beautifully.

The Obelisco Macho, located on the Malecon is Santo Domingo, was dedicated in 1997 to the Hermanas Mirabal
The Obelisco Macho, located on the Malecon is Santo Domingo, was dedicated in 1997 to the Hermanas Mirabal

El Obelisco Macho del Malecón / The Male Obelisk on the Malecon in Santo Domingo.

The 137 foot tall Obelisk that Trujillo had built was to bring honor and recognition to himself. Now it honors the women he had brutally murdered, the 3 Mirabal Sisters.

The Obelisco Macho, located on the Malecon is Santo Domingo, was dedicated in 1997 to the Hermanas Mirabal "A Song to Liberty." by Elsa Nuñez. to honor the Mirabal sisters.
The Obelisco Macho, located on the Malecon is Santo Domingo, was dedicated in 1997 to the Hermanas Mirabal “A Song to Liberty.” by Elsa Nuñez. to honor the Mirabal sisters.
The Obelisco Macho, located on the Malecon is Santo Domingo, was dedicated in 1997 to the Hermanas Mirabal
The Obelisco Macho, located on the Malecon is Santo Domingo, was dedicated in 1997 to the Hermanas Mirabal

The obelisk was painted with “A Song to Liberty” by Elsa Nuñez. It was converted to honor the Mirabal sisters, painted with the three women Trujillo had murdered. It was unveiled on March 8, 1997 in honor of International Women’s Day.

The Obelisco seen in the distance from the Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo
The Obelisco seen in the distance from the Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo

Casa del Tapao

Casa del Tapao / House of the Man’s Coat

Casa del Tapao.
Casa del Tapao.

Casa del Tapao is a large two-story stone home that is beautifully restored and conserved. The residence was built in the 14th century between 1554 and 1556. Duque de Rivera, with help from the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, helped build this home. The shield of the Duque is located atop the stone portal of the main entrance.

The front door of Casa del Tapao with the shield of the Duque de Rivera
The front door of Casa del Tapao with the shield of the Duque de Rivera

Casa del Tapao Legends

Casa del Tapao is shrouded in legend and mystery. No one is sure exactly what went on behind the walls of this home.

It is said that the condemned prisoners arriving here from Mexico stayed in this house and always left covering their faces so they could not be identified.

Another legend of the Casa del Tapao says that the gentleman living here was deformed and had a disfigured face, maybe from some disease such as leprosy. He only left the house at night and always had his face covered. Some legends state that this man was the twin brother of the King of Spain and he was hidden here so as not to disgrace the family.

The story says that the lone resident was a strange man who always kept his face covered so he could not be recognized. The people did not know much about this mysterious man so they called him “El Hombre del Tapado”

All these legends have one thing in common; someone stayed here who was secretive and stayed covered. None know for sure now why the inhabitants of this house always seemed to remain under cover. This is another mystery of the history of the Colony of Santo Domingo that will never be answered.

Casa del Tapao now is part of La Quinta Billini located a little further down Calle Padre Billini. The building is used for cultural events, art exhibitions and can be rented for special activities and parties.

Location

Casa del Tapao on the corner of 19 De Marzo and Padre Billini
Casa del Tapao on the corner of 19 De Marzo and Padre Billini

This beautifully preserved home is located on the corners of Calle 19 de Marzo and Padre Billini just 2 blocks form Calle el Conde. (The streets originally were named Calle del Tapao and Calle del Convento.)