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Consult the spirits to heal or decide on an action.
" Our Indians being sick, or wanting to go to war, or desiring to know news of their neighbours and other occurrences of affairs, of which they wish to know the meaning, the eldest, or often only one, deliberate among themselves to make Chemin, come, and for this purpose prepare for him a bed of cotton in the dwelling where they wish him to come, at the foot of which they put two large coys of wine [beer] of sweet potato, which is much more nourishing than cassava, and nearby the said wine put, on a small device made like the butt of a broken stove, a roll of petun leaf. And the whole thing is placed at the bottom and darkest part of the dwelling under a small hole they call tourar, which is at the top of the dwelling [the square hole often decorated with a hanging tray and painted with mythological figures] through which the said Chemin enters, and not through the ordinary door, and exits through another one which is at the bottom of the dwelling low and very close to all the above-mentioned preparations, which is about three feet square and is used for many other purposes as we shall see below. " (Moreau 2002, 177).
The sweet potato beer is used as an offering to invoke Chemin, not the manioc beer. Perhaps this choice is a reminder that sweet potato beer has a much longer antiquity in the history of the Caribbean peoples. Religious rites are conservative. Cassava beer would have been adopted or known only after sweet potato beer. The petun is made from the dried bark of a tree, rolled into thin leaves and smoked like tobacco. The Amerindian healer-soothsayers use it to concentrate and communicate with the supernatural world. Potato beer and petun are gathered on a kind of altar to call on Chemin and communicate with him.