Miss Earth Guyana Wins Gold Medal for National Costume – “Ole Higue”

Miss Earth Guyana Bags Gold Medal for National Costume

Miss Earth Guyana 2018 at the center with her medal.

SEE Pictures here: https://www.missearthguyana.org/events-1/miss-earth-guyana-bags-gold-medal-for-national-costume

Xamiera Kippins, Miss Earth Guyana 2018 has captured the gold medal for South America at the Miss Earth National Costume Competition. Kippins displayed an illustration of Guyanese folklore – The Ole Higue. Peru and Ecuador were awarded the Bronze and Silver medals respectively.

The delegates of Miss Earth 2018 showcased their respective countries’ rich culture and heritage through the national costume competition held October 11 at the Century Park Hotel in Manila, Philippines.         

The delegates were competed against the ladies from their respective regional groups, where the judges picked the Top 3 Best costumes.

The Ole Higue is a creature of Guyanese folklore that has been associated with a combination of similar beliefs passed down from the various cultures existing in the country. In other countries and provinces the creature is known as the soucouyant or fire rass and is almost always associated with the visage of a lonely old woman by day.  However at night, she sheds her ragged skin and stores it in a shell and takes on the form of a figure of fire. Some who have claimed to have seen an Ole Higue have compared it to a fire ball while others have called her an elegant but terrifying figure covered in flames.

She is known to enter the houses of newborn children through a crack or crease in a door or even through the keyhole and once in, she feeds off the blood of the infant. To stop her, the family of the new born must either draw a chalk line by their main door, or lay a broom made of the fibre of coconut branches by the said door.

The most popular method however is to scatter rice grains at the doorstep; Ole Higue is obligated to count every single one before entering and if she loses count, by nature she needs to restart counting. This would lead her until dawn when she is discovered and put to justice.

The medalists for the competition were:

Asia & Oceania
Gold: Vietnam | Phương Khánh Nguyễn
Silver: Thailand | Nirada Chetsadapriyakun
Bronze: Philippines | Celeste Cortesi

North & Central America
Gold: Mexico | Melissa Flores
Silver: Panama | Diana Lemos
Bronze: Guatemala | Lisa Hayet

South America
Gold: Guyana | Xamiera Kippins
Silver: Ecuador | Diana Valdivieso
Bronze: Peru | Jessica Russo

Gold: Sierra Leone | Alma Nancy Sesay
Silver: Zambia | Margret Konie
Bronze: Nigeria | Maristella Okpala

Western Europe
Gold: Spain | Carolina Jane
Silver: Portugal | Telma Madeira
Bronze: Italy | Sofia Pavan

Eastern Europe
Gold: Serbia | Nina Jovanović
Silver: Crimea | Ksenia Sarina
Bronze: Montenegro | Katarina Šećković

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On October 16, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Photo missing.

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 16, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    I am having the same issues, Rosaliene: No photos – Here is YouTube.

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 16, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Around the 6-minute mark Miss Guyana appears on stage ….

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 18, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    The Beauty and Terror of a Fire Rass “Ole Higue” – Guyana

    Ole Higues are also known as “Fire Rass” or Angeli. The Ole Higue is always a woman. It is said that she sucks the blood of unsuspecting victims as they sleep. Her favourite victims are young children and babies.

    The Ole Higue’s distinguishing feature is the fact that, during the day, she lives among other Guyanese as a somewhat introverted and quiet old lady. At night, this seemingly harmless old woman removes her skin, places it gently in a calabash, and travels across the sky as a ball of fire heading to the home of her intended victim.

    To enter the home she shrinks herself and enters through the keyhole. There have been countless sightings of these balls of fire all over the country, and many people still have a staunch belief in the reality of the Ole Higue.

    There are three ways to dispose of an Ole Higue. The first is to turn the key while she is trying to get through the keyhole. Even today many people still lock their doors and then turn their key to a horizontal position to allow an Ole Higue to make it partway into the hole.

    The rustling of the key should wake the tenant, who can then turn the key fully and crush the Ole Higue. It is said that the next morning a pile of bones should be seen on the doorstep.

    The second way is to find its skin in the calabash where it is stored and put hot peppers in the skin. An Ole Higue who tries to wear this skin will be burned by the pepper.

    The Ole Higue is very miserly, and the last way to catch the Ole Higue is to spill rice grains on the floor in front of the front door to the house. As the Ole Higue enters your house, she will be forced to count every rice grain before she can pass. It is better to make sure there is a large helping of rice on the floor and no bags in sight.

    This is because the Ole Higue will have to pick up the grains with her right hand and place counted grains in her left hand. Her hands can only hold so many rice grains, and it is only a matter of time before the grains begin to fall back to the ground and the process begins again. When the homeowners awake the next morning, they should find a very tired and incredibly distressed Ole Higue counting rice. This is when the homeowners will beat the woman to death with a broom.

    There are many more jumbie stories in Guyanese folklore and history.

    Adapted from R. Seegopaul (2008) , KNews

  • Clyde Duncan  On November 2, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Ghoul Nation Part IV: Everything You Wanted to Know About Venezuelan Folk Monsters, But Were Afraid to Ask

    David Parra – Caracas Chronicles

    In the Venezuelan countryside, we grow up understanding that life is filled with unavoidable warnings about what we can’t explain, the dark and ominous things that seem to stalk us from the depth of the rice fields.

    Don’t bathe in the river at night. Avoid playing cards till dawn. Don’t walk home alone during the Devil’s hour. Ignore strangers on the road. Don’t hunt tame animals after sundown. Beware if your cows graze late at night. Be careful with the burials that glow under the oldest trees. Keep your scapular on your chest and salt in your pockets. Remind your children when it’s too dark to play hide and seek. Close the windows, throw linseed up on the roof and keep the candles at hand because a storm is coming.

    We grow up understanding that life is filled with unavoidable warnings about what we can’t explain.

    I spent my childhood in a farm on the outskirts of Mérida where these mystical topics were common, because things such as death, evil or sexuality were utterly taboo.

    I also travelled for a couple of years through the roads of the country’s west, and the more distant or forgotten a community was, the more colorful and complex their spooks’ stories became, and the more cruel their reality was — permeated by the clashes between landowners, drug traffickers and paramilitaries.

    Those sinister presences — apologies to misery, disease and isolation — still find their way in the everyday of their inhabitants.

    Through people’s superstition and imagination, ghosts and monsters become the materialization of the hard daily catharsis of Venezuelans: the tougher life is, the broader the folklore of the dead.

    Venezuelan Espantos: Our ghosts remain as witnesses of the bitterness of a time when hope and future looked darker than night in the countryside.

    A ghost is a hidden memory that feeds on tragic moments, on painful situations, reminding us of the debts that haven’t been truly settled.

    In his film “The Devil’s Backbone” Guillermo del Toro defines them as: “A terrible event damned to repeat itself over and over. An instant of pain perhaps.

    Something dead that seems to still be alive at times. A feeling suspended in time, like a blurry photograph, like an insect trapped in amber.” Therefore, it’s a memory that emerges beckoning to that which should’ve remained hidden but reveals itself again.

    Spectres give life to lost stories, which aren’t in books nor arise from figures and dates; a natural disaster or a serious accident, such as the one that took place in Vargas in the 90s or the Amuay Refinery explosion in 2012.

    These tragedies are usually told through numbers, so they don’t hurt or disturb; a homicide is a number in a police file or a headline in the newspaper, with no face or mourners.

    Spectres serve as channels for the pain of loss, they hold on to the reminiscence of the dark feeling that comes with it.

    The survival of our culture as it faces the overwhelming socialist status-quo finds a hint of light in the way of our oral tradition. It is constantly being renewed and reinterpreted according to the circumstances.

    Our ghosts speak from the pain and despair, from the violence and hunger; they remain as witnesses of the bitterness of a time when hope and future looked darker than night in the countryside.

  • Clyde Duncan  On November 2, 2018 at 7:55 pm

  • Clyde Duncan  On November 3, 2018 at 8:54 am

  • Clyde Duncan  On November 10, 2018 at 7:27 pm

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