History on Hoodoo

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Forums -> Vodou -> History on Hoodoo

History on Hoodoo
Post # 1

Hoodoo is the traditional art of African American folk magick. It was during the American slave trade when West African slaves were brought over to America with nothing but dirt on their cloths and tears on their face. Many were separated from their families as few were probably able to see each other again. They were auctioned off like animals to add to groups of other slaves with unfamiliar faces. It was a real rough and sad time for these people.

In order to survive the African people had to submit and disregard their own former religious beliefs as they slowly became more Christian oriented as time goes by. Slave owners pressured their religion down the slaves throats, some gentler than others. They disallowed any of the slaves religious acts to be done and were disciplined when even showing the slightest remark.

It was much different than in Louisiana, the birth place of American voodoo. This was because in Louisiana slaves had the upper hand with Catholicism. They had "mask" so to speak, which were the saints, to hide their spirits or what others may call lwa. Also they were able to hold groups with each other and when the slave owners saw them praying to a picture of saint peter, no one could expect that they were actually praying to Papa Legba. With the areas that hoodoo was born at the slave owners were Protestant, so they were no saints to hide behind.

Though many of the religious West African beliefs were decimated because of their harsh lifestyle some survived and were intermingled by the cultures that they were surrounded by. The Native Americans were a big part for the herbal knowledge in hoodoo because they knew what each plant was good for. They handed down this wisdom to the slaves because they felt sorry for them and were in a similarpredicament. Another huge thing that made Hoodoo what it was were the folkloric and magical lore of the Europeans. With all this intertwined together makes what most of what hoodoo is today.

As time grew on many of the slaves surprisingly turned Protestant, which a lot of root workers are now these days. Even though they were Christian they still hold on to there form of magick, which was the only thing they now had that was apart of their old culture. As society became more better for the slaves a lot of them left their own religious and superstitious lifestyle behind and moved up north to escape all the hatred. Hoodoo went through a hiatus for a while.

Around the time of 1965 Africans started to go back to the south to reclaim the power of which their ancestors once had. Thanks to efforts of intelligent people and authors that have collected and well preserved the tradition of hoodoo, people started getting more interested in it during the 1990`s, which was called the hoodoo revival.

Now you can see rootworkers of any gender, sexual orientation, and even race practising hoodoo. I'm glad to see so many people being apart of this path and I hope to actually meet someone in real life just like me. Though I'm somewhat skeptical about how few people approach this practice, I hope I could write more stuff on this topic.

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Re: History on Hoodoo
Post # 2
Thank you for this post! Really interesting information.
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