This morning, when Wes and I arrived at our milling site we found a group of men gathered around the end of one of our logs. They were examining the tethered leaves in the picture above. No one would touch the bundle–at least not with skin. The group explained that an old-timer capable of sorcery had spoken secret words to the charm and left it as a curse. They said it would cause our mill to be damaged or one of us to be injured. They took steps to neutralize the threat.
First, one man poured powdered lime on it.
Then he dumped some water on it.
Next some guys covered it with pine straw which they doused with my mill gas.
Then it was set ablaze. I was sternly warned not to stand down wind where the smoke would contaminate me.
Once it was burned, the group agreed it had been rendered powerless. Later when a fight broke out and a man was cut, they attributed that to the curse.