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Conjur Craft: Hoodoo, Rootwork and Conjuring for the 21st Century

By Stephanie Rose Bird

Hoodoo History

Once upon a time, we were Africans, involved in a unique lexicon of beliefs, lore, stories, and customs designed to help integrate us into an environment filled with plants, animals, elements, and a complex array of spirits. With the advent of slavery, those who had stayed the longest severed the physical bond with the Motherland, but like seeds lifted from a flower by wind, we found fertile ground in distant lands. The freshly sown seeds took strongest hold in sunny climes reminiscent of our Motherland.

Separated physically, we remained united as brothers and sisters in spirit. The various hybrids of traditional African-based religions continue to thrive in coastal Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba in the form of Candomble, Shango, Lucumi, Umbanda, and Santeria. In Louisiana and Haiti, our spirituality thrives in the form of Vodoun. In the southern United States, Hoodoo took root in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Hoodoo was established during slavery using the types of plants available in the United States. Our knowledge of African herbalism was enhanced through the generosity of Native American tribes such as the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Chocktaw, and Seminole who understood our suffering intimately. Many Black Indians were the result of this interchange. The proof to this is within our recipes, appearance, and of course within Hoodoo.

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