Calviany tells us about the leaves he brought to one of the workshops. “We use the leaves as incense. First we take a branch, then we wrap the leaves around it and burn it for different reasons in the house. For protection we use basil, aloe and bay leaf. We use sage to energetically clean the house.”

“I went to San Pedro in Bandabou and on the way home I found sage and white sage. I planted them in my garden. Nowadays it’s quite difficult to get sage at the places that sell incense, there’s a shortage.”

In Curaçao a clean house is much more than a matter of hygiene. It is also about getting rid of fuku, a type of bad luck that moves through the air and can penetrate into people’s houses. Fuku can stick to someone for no apparent reason. It may also be the result of one’s own actions, thoughts and words or can be sent by someone else. In order to chase fuku away from a house, you need to burn a strong-smelling, natural material that produces a lot of smoke.

“Fuku can stick to someone for no apparent reason.”