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From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Hoodoo/Conjure (was Re: Can a voodoo priest answer ...?)
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 22:10:46 -0800

Eoghan Ballard wrote:
> I can hardly add anything to CY's typically thorough responses except 
> to point out that a few more recent academic writers, notably Wyatt 
> McGaffrey and Robert Ferris Thompson have brought renewed attention to 
> the contributions of the Congo peoples to Voodoo/Hoodoo both in New 
> Orleans and generally throughout the USA. 

Please, please tell me more! Who are these folks? Can you give examples
of the Congo influences they cite? Where has their work been published!
Post your response in usenet (not to email) please. 

Oh, and by the way, i left out the earliest published sources of
information on hoodoo -- although Haskins mines them so thoroughly that
one may need not go back to the originals unless one is a scholar. These
are, in chronological order of publication:

"Negro Folk-Lore and Witchcraft in the South" by Louis Pendleton,
Journal of American Folk-Lore Vol. 3, 1890.

"Superstitions of Georgia" by Ruby Andrews Moore, Journal of American
Folk-Lore Vol. 5, 1892.

"Superstitions of Georgia" by Ruby Andrews Moore, Journal of American
Folk-Lore Vol. 9, 1896.

"Conjuring and Conjure-Doctors in the Southern United States by [Miss]
Herron and Miss A. M. Bacon, Journal of American Folk-Lore Vol. 9, 1896.
[originally published in a lengthier form in Southern Workman and
Hampton School Record, Nov. and Dec. 1895]

"Negro Conjuring and Tricking" by Julien A. Hall, Journal of American
Folk-Lore Vol. 10, 1897. [note: "tricking" in African-American hoodoo
parlance means casting a spell on someone; it does not mean fooling them

and finally, the work that was edited to become the 2nd half of the
previously-mentioned 1935 book, "Mules and Men": 

"Hoodoo in America" by Zora Neale Hurston, Journal of American Folk-Lore
Vol. 44, 1931.

The information published by Misses Herron and Bacon, collected from
students at the all-black Hampton Institute in Virginia, is especially
valuable. Among other things, the authors describe a clear instance of
the use of what some today call a "voodoo doll" -- but made during the
time before these were manufactured of cloth ("something all wrapped up
in hair and all kinds of other queer-looking things"). They also make
frequent references to footprint magic, as in the following passages: 
-- "a small red bag (presumably filled with occult items) is fixed to
the sole of the victim's foot" 

-- "a bottle full of snakes was buried by the doorstep. The first one
who came out in the morning stepped over it and fell" 

-- "a bottle filled with roots, stones and red-disk powder [sic] was
found under the doorstep."

I sure would like to know what "red-disk powder" is!!! Could it be
cinnabar? Dragon's blood resin powder? Jeweler's rouge? A typo for 
"reddish" powder (e.g. cayenne pepper powder)? Does anyone have
a clue? 

> Also, you should really check out her
> website. It's awesome.

*blush* Thanks! 

catherine yronwode
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