Boias are medical priests among the native Indians of the Caribbee Islands. They are also conjurors, each of whom has a particular genius, which he invokes. In order to become a Boia the candidate must abstain from certain kinds of meats from his infancy, and, while under instruction, live in a little hut where he is visited by no one except his instructor, subsisting on bread and water alone. He is purified by making incisions in his skill and administering tobacco juice freely. His body is afterwards rubbed over with gumor oil and then covered with feathers. When a Boia is summoned in case of sickness he immediately orders the fire extinguished; he then goes into a corner, where the patient is carried to him. After various incantations, of which tobacco-smoking is the principal ceremony, he applies his mouth to the diseased part, pretending to suck away the disease. If the patient fails to get relief, he then turns priest and administers consolation to the afflicted, endeavoring to reconcile him to impending death.