The Lucky Charms of Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe – the drums of Djambi – Good Luck Charms from Around the World

Although many African nations have been influenced by their colonial past, some nations are still powerfully led by their African ancestry.  There are then those that seek to combine the influences of the ancient with the modern, and so it is with the Forros, the free people who escaped slavery.

Sao Tome and Principe –  the drums of djambi

There are all sorts of superstitions on these islands off the west coast of Africa.  There are many traditions aimed as keeping away the worst impacts of the Evil Eye – be it the fruit of the palm tree, a wooden cross, a horseshoe and even an old chamberpot filled with urine.  However, a ritual is often used to encourage good fortune, called djambi.  

History of the lucky charm of Sao Tome and Principe

The term djambi is said to stem from the word nzambi or njambi, meaning the Almighty, or God. The term chinguiler, or to invoke the spirit of the dead, is also connected to this practice.  

Why the drums of djambi charm is bringing luck

The tradition of a procession with drums is meant to ward away bad luck and to bring better fortune.  It is practised on request by an elder master, who is well versed in the wisdom of the traditions.

How to use the drums of djambi charm

The drums form part of the procession.  This procession will be to treat a particular case in need of good fortune or as a commemoration of a revered feast day.  The procession will begin at the Catholic church and will lead to the compound of the elder.

How the drums of djambi charm is made

It is the drums that summon the spirits of the ancestors that will offer the protection and the good fortune.  There are three drums used and some rattles.  While the men play the drums, women stamp cassava leaves.

How to make the drums of djambi charm at home

It is an ancient ceremony, as opposed to the drums themselves.  However, it is the drums that summon the help requested.  The whole ceremony is proceeded by a huge feast, which celebrates the casting out of evil and the embracing of better fortune.

Interesting and fun facts about the drums of djambi charm

It is the role of the elder to identify the spirits that are causing the bad luck and to help to cast these out.  The ceremony goes on for a while and spectators are likely to come and go during the ritual dancing and procession.

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