The Shaman’s Journey along the Milky Way
to the Land of the Hummingbird
in October 2019
This is the story of my friend and brother, George Washiru Simon and the Particular events of his life which culminated on the weekend of October
19, 2019 in Trinidad, Land of the Hummingbird.......
Bimichi. Pakuri circa 1957
The haughty Hashiru, began his journey along the Milky Way a long time ago. He learned
about shamanic ways from his mother at an early age. His father, who would have been his teacher, died when he was a baby. One day when he was a child learning to walk, his mother noticed a black mole, a birthmark, in the sole of his right foot, when
she was washing his feet after he had stepped in a puddle. She had not noticed it before. This was a sure sign that her son would travel to many places and visit many villages. She became anxious for his safety and wellbeing.
he grew up she sat him down to counsel him, advising him how to behave among strangers and how to avoid possible dangers. She told him stories of powerful men and women, shaman, and how they might hurt him. ”Be careful. I have seen how
a powerful shaman made a stool dance, “she warned.“ You never know who you will meet so you have to protect yourself”. She insisted. “The hummingbird is a powerful medicine and a protector”, she continued. “Get one
and always keep it with you.“ she advised. On her advice, he took his slingshot and went hunting hummingbirds. He shot one which he preserved with the help of his mother. He sprayed a delicate fragrance over the bird, wrapped it in tobacco
leaves and placed it in a calabash gourd for safety When he left his village, at the age of 13, to live in a town, he buried the gourd with its contents at the root of a Hiawa tree.
Hashiru lived in Haiti for three years.
One day while he was working in his studio he received a telephone call from his
friend who was conducting a workshop at a nearby hotel. He was asked to go over
quickly as a bird
had just smashed itself on the closed glass door at the main
entrance of the hotel. He dashed over and surely, there was a bird lying on the
ground breathing heavily. It was a hummingbird. As he bent down to hold it the
bird tried to fly away
but landed in a clump of bushes nearby. He went over,
picked it up and took it home with the hope that it might recover. It died in his
hand on his way home. He preserved the bird and kept it.
Hashiru was at the opening of a group exhibition at the National Gallery in
Georgetown. He had a few pieces of his work on show. While chatting with a
prospective buyer, his friend Everley came over to tell him that
someone asking for him. Having concluded his conversation with the client he
went over to Everley who was standing next to a lady. They stood transfixed by a
sculpture of a Bell Bird. The woman sported a hairstyle like Botticelli’s
Vespucci as Nymph. Everley introduced them. She said she was interested in
acquiring the piece. Without hesitation, Harishu informed her that it wasn’t his
work. It was his brother’s.
With that he turned to leave
when she remarked “Lovely shirt”
“Yes“ he replied
”Haitian“ he briskly added and marched off to his paintings.
Standing alone he reflected how rude he was to the lady. He felt impelled to
and make an apology. He did. They exchanged pleasantries and said
They did not see each other again until after a month when she returned from a
Showing some interest in his work, he invited her to view his paintings
University. He had been working on a mural on a wall of the University and a
canvas in the University studio. On the canvas, he depicted a woman transformed
into a hummingbird. She offered to buy it. It was the first of a series
he depicted of women transformed into hummingbirds.
He nicknamed her Bimichi after the painting.