Name: Mama E.
Age You First Fell in Love: 9
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia “But the spirits brought me to New Orleans, they told me they’d take care of me if I took care of them, and they have.”
Love Is: Love is who loves you.
Mama E. was cool. She had a very fun spirit about her and large, somewhat sad eyes. We met her while in Jackson Square and learned that her father was from Benin, “My mother’s people are from St. Thomas.” At some point in conversation, my sister asked if she ever saw spirits, to which she replied, “Yes, I see some of our ancestors. He was standing on a corner and in chains, they were around his feet and around his neck. I asked him if there was any problem, he asked for fruit and gin. Spirits always want gin. So I went home, ate fruit and drank gin for him.” We ask if she learned his name, “Yes, it was Domi-something, it wasn’t quite Dominique, but a variation. He was very tired and hungry.”
Side Note: I believe in spirits, so Mama E saying the spirit asked for gin, makes sense to me. When we were younger, my father, who is from Ghana, would take us outside every once in a while to perform libations. Libations, are in the most basic sense, a drink offering and what we see in the African Diaspora when drinks are poured for the deceased. There would always be a handle of gin, with roots soaking in it, to offer to the ancestors whose name he’d call. We’d all take a sip and he would pour the gin on the ground three times to share with those who came before us.