Japanese for "belt". In particular, the elaborate and often very expensive belt used to keep a traditional kimono together.

definition by Webster 1913

"species of sorcery... among the negroes..."
SOMEbody forgot their politically correct handbook, didn't they???


Obeah = Obi

Obeah is an Afro-Caribbean Shamanistic practice. It is shrouded in secrecy. The Jamaican government has outlawed the practice of Obeah.

"...and it was said the tree was cursed by an Obeahman. A man came along and ate a fruit from that tree, and died the next morning."

Obeah is considered the knowledge-power (see: Joriki). It is based on the concept of equilibrium. A man uses magic to kill another man, they unbalanced the scale. The scale will then balance. What goes around comes around.

This is a very mysterious religion, and is widely feared. Certain forms of Obeah have made as far as Islamic-Muslim East Asia.

The Japanese obi is not really a belt. It would be a crime to call it one. Sash is probably a better word.

Obi are tied around kimono but do not actually hold the kimono together. All kimono have small cords which are tied together. An obi is mostly for decoration, hiding the material at the waist which becomes creased and a little bunched. It can be tied tightly to reduce the size of the waist for women.

Like kimono, obi are of varying quality. It is important that the obi are of at least the same quality as the kimono - great care has to be taken to ensure that the obi is not of inferior quality, or clashes with the main ensemble. Geisha spend much time choosing which obi to wear with their kimono. Naturally they have the finest available, hand-woven from silk and designed with intricate patterns.

Obi are normally tied at the back. Various types of knots are used to secure it. Geisha and maiko have their knots tied differently to indicate their rank. Obi have been known to be tied at the front. However this was only ever the case for prostitutes - the tying of the knot at the front indicated "easy access".

O"bi (?), n. [Prob. of African origin.]

1.

A species of sorcery, probably of African origin, practiced among the negroes of the West Indies.

[Written also obe and obeah.]

De Quincey. B. Edwards.

2.

A charm or fetich.

[West Indies]

B. Edwards.

 

© Webster 1913.


O"bi (?), n.

1.

A sash, esp. the long broad sash of soft material worn by women.

[Japan]

Over this is bound the large sash (obi) which is the chief article of feminine adornment. B. H. Chamberlain.

 

© Webster 1913.

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