A spirit of
small stature that pelts stones at houses and moves objects within a
house. He is rumored to live on banana and milk. Stories abound of
the existence of bacoos in Georgetown and other areas in Guyana, but
some believe they could have come from Surinam and are said to be
trapped in a corked bottle unless released. Active mainly at night,
it is said that a satisfied bacoo will answer the wishes of its
owner. 'Baku' in many West African languages means 'little brother'
or 'short man'. It also is related to the word the word 'bacucu'
meaning 'banana'. In West Africa, the short races (such as the
pygmies) were believed to have magical powers. This seemed to have
been brought to Guyana, where the short races, or 'bakus', were
still regarded as having magical powers.
dance of West African origin characterized by the possession of
spirits summoned by the drumming known among the Ndjukas of Surinam.
In the 1930's in Charlestown, Georgetown, the Cumfa Dance as
practiced there (La Penitence, Albouystown and Charlestown) was
characterized by 4 main features - (1) the dancers danced barefoot
on broken bottles scattered on the ground (2) they lighted a piece
of wood and pushed the lighted fire into their mouths (3) plunging
into the trench water under a high tension of elation (4) some of
the spectators would often be possessed by spirits and stagger, like
the mentally insane, and butt their heads on the ground. It is said
that the Cumfa ceremony grew out a dance of praise to King O'Cumfa
on the Congo River. The African ancestors of the slaves used to
worship him for days and nights by the river.
Updated: 9 June 2008