Celia Grace Graham (CELL-yuh or SAY- lee-yah in Spanish) is a chocolate brown Geechie woman of petite stature, little hips to speak of and a set of bosoms that come around the corner before she does. Arrayed in varying shades of yellow and gold, sensually connected to the earth; men smell, taste and fear her heat. An ever-dangling cigarette from the corner of her mouth and an overt sensuality are her defenses. A cigar is required when the winds of change are in the air. Slow to speak, quick of temper, she calculates your worth and how deep your truth runs before your feet have dusted her doorstep. She speaks Geechie English, Afro-Cuban Spanish and the ritual language of Santeria.
The Obeah woman means healer and magic worker descended from the Igbo of West Africa. The practice of Obeah which is similar to Santeria in that both are based upon West African religions that honor earth, nature and our connection to it, was outlawed because it was used to defeat slavery. The Obeah (healer) man or woman on a plantation was not only responsible for healing slaves, but healing the masters children. Their lives depended upon the Obeah woman's mastery of healing. The Obeah woman could travel more freely and was the mastermind that relayed messages from plantation to plantation and back to escaped slaves living in the swamps or mountains to organize a rebellion. So, to piss off the Obeah woman was the wrong move...it could mean the end of you or the end of your plantation.