Monday, December 21, 2015

Sublime – "Santeria" (1996)

I could find that heina 
And that sancho that she's found
I'd pop a cap in sancho and I'd slap her down

A good friend of 2 or 3 lines recently e-mailed me an AP story about the arrest of a 32-year-old man who allegedly paid another man to dig up the remains of five dead people:

A man described by police as a Santeria priest raided a cemetery and took the remains of five people for use in religious ceremonies, authorities said.

Amador Medina, alleged grave robber
Amador Medina, 32, was scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Hartford on a charge of being a fugitive from justice from Worcester, Massachusetts, where authorities allege he stole the remains two months ago from a family mausoleum that dates to 1903.

Police arrested Medina on Friday after the remains were found in his Hartford apartment.  Medina told police he was a Santeria priest and wanted the human bones for religious and healing ceremonies, said Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley.

"We see (Santeria) rarely in Hartford," Foley said. "When we do, it's generally with animals. Very even more rarely you get human remains."

(I don’t mean to be snarky, but let’s think about that quote from Deputy Police Chief Foley: “Very even more rarely” do you get human remains.  I’m glad Foley decided to join the police force instead of becoming an English teacher.)

A Santeria practitioner
Santeria mixes Roman Catholicism with a traditional African faith.  Scholars say it was imported to Cuba through slaves brought from the Nigeria's Yoruba tribe, and it is now widely practiced in the Caribbean.

Foley said police have learned that practitioners of Santeria use human bones for medicinal purposes, and the age of the deceased and how long they have been dead are relevant to those practices.

The remains of three adults and two young children were stolen from the Houghton family mausoleum in Hope Cemetery in Worcester, where police have obtained an arrest warrant charging Medina with five counts of disinterment of bodies and other crimes.  Medina will face extradition to Massachusetts.

The Houghton family mausoleum
Mr. Medina didn’t need to end up in jail for grave robbing.  He could have simply bought the human bones and skulls he needed by going to “The Dark Side of Santeria” website.  

Here’s what that website has to say: 

It is perfectly legal to sell human bones in the United States.  Except for select antique specimens, all human bones for sale in the United States have been prepared overseas.  Prior to 1985, the main supplier of human material for medical use was India.  India ceased exporting bones in 1985 following changes in Indian law. 

These remains are anonymous.  Skulls and skeletons can be sexed, but the vast majority of our stock consist of adult males.  Individual post-cranial bones, with the exception of pelvic material, cannot be sexed accurately.

This articulated human arm
and hand sells for only $885
Unless otherwise specified, prices are for A1 quality specimens.  Having said that, not all bones are perfect.  Since many of these bones were prepped several years ago, they occasionally show signs of wear related to long-term handling or storage.  Bones that were previously held in museum or academic collections may possess catalog numbers.  We will try and select the best-quality bones available, but each bone is unique.

It is the customer's responsibility to be aware of their own local laws.  Materials seized due to conflict with foreign law are not eligible for refunds or replacement. If you are uncertain about the legality of an item you wish to purchase, please contact your local legal authorities.

(As a consumer, I appreciate this “full disclosure” approach.  Like the late Sy Syms, whoever is behind this website obviously believes that “An educated consumer is our best customer.”)

You can get a tibia for $250, a matched radius and ulna for $400, a nice male skull with some teeth for $1900, or an articulated female skeleton for only $400.

Click here to order your santeria bones, and all the other santeria paraphernalia you need.

The "Santeria" album cover
“Santeria” was the title track of Sublime's third and final studio album, which was released in 1996.  The song is sung by a jealous man who plots revenge against his ex-girlfriend and the man who stole her from him – he’s going to “slap her down” and “pop a cap” in him (e.g., put a bullet in him).

Heina is a Hispanic slang term for a girlfriend – it is apparently derived from the Spanish word for queen, reina.  

Sancho is a slang term for the man whom a woman cheats on her boyfriend with – her “back door man,” so to speak.

Here’s the music video for “Santeria”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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