How Hoodoo Started

How Hoodoo Started

During the 1600’s and the 1700’s, a great trade in slave labor was carried out by the European adventurers and farmers who had set up colonies in different parts of America.

All the British, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese and the French colonies paid for slaves to work in their homes or businesses. The captives, exported from the Western, Central and Southern Africa had different religions of their own. But there was one thing common in these religions - the worship of spirits and deities.  

The only difference between these religions was the different spirits and deities that were worshipped by each religion, the music that was played and the language that would be used during the rituals. The use of roots and herbs for creating magic was an inherent feature of these religions.

The people of the West African Republic of Benin, were the first to arrive at the shores of Louisiana. They brought their Vodoun religion, traditions and culture with them. The Vodoun religion was initially confined to the slave camps where it was secretly practiced. 

With the purchase of the State of Louisiana by the United States of America in the 1800’s slavery was officially abolished. The slaves were set free and now they could practice their Vodoun traditions and rituals without any fear.

The creole and the colored people were allowed to enter into inter-racial marriages which caused the spread of this religion. Slowly this Vodoun tradition and culture were adopted by the native Creole people of Louisiana and later by others.

The name Vodoun got changed to Voodoo and the people became more and more fascinated with the religion. They started consulting fortune tellers for Gris bags and herbs and plants, for their effect on their daily lives.

As these changes took place in Louisiana, were the use of herbs and roots in magic became quite a phenomenon. People started using herbs and roots for their own personal, financial and political gains. They started calling the rituals “conjure” or “root work” magic. 

When people from different colonies came together, they found out that the Vodoun practice of using herbs and roots in magic was the same as the rituals which were named “conjure” or “root work” in other colonies.

The word Voodoo became Americanized and became Hoodoo which actually meant magic or simply folk magic. While Voodoo remained a religion, Hoodoo became the business of using the power of herbs and roots for personal gains.

As each herb and root had different powers, they were chosen carefully for achieving a particular purpose. Thus, the term Court Case Hoodoo came into existence.

Anybody who got arrested or had some or other case coming up in court against him, started using the power of these herbs and roots to cast a spell on the lawyers and the judge who would give a ruling in his favor under the influence of the spell cast by these herbs and roots.

The custom has become so common now, that it has spread all over the world and the Hoodoo business has grown everywhere in leaps and bounds.

By Florance Saul
Dec 24, 2012