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Finally, in other parts of the South, the word "Voodoo" is not encountered at all except in the writings of uninformed white people, and the terms "hoodoo," "rootwork," "conjure" and "witchcraft" are variously applied to the system of African-American folk-magic.
Hoodoo is used as a noun to name both the system of magic ("He used hoodoo on her") and its practitioners ("Doctor Buzzard was a great hoodoo in his day").(It is "spiky" because Uath -- hooh -- is, additionally, the Gaelic name for the spiky Hawthorn or May tree.) A Gaelic origin for the word hoodoo would also explain why a certain type of eerie geological rock formation across the Americas is similarly called a hoodoo -- Irish trappers and traders saw these weird objects as personified demons.A Gaelic origin for the word hoodoo does, believe it or not, make sense in terms of African American history, for a large percentage of American sailors during the 19th century, especially before the Civil War, were African Americans, and they mingled freely with Irish sailors in the Atlantic shipping trade and in seaports from New York to New Orleans.(The transcription is by Gorgen Antonsson, [email protected], and Alan Balfour, [email protected]): "HOODOO LADY BLUES" Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup Believe I'll drop down in Louisiana, just to see a dear old friend of mine Believe I'll drop down in Louisiana, just to see a dear old friend of mine You know, maybe she can help me, durn my hard, hard time.You know they tell me in Louisiana, there's hoodoos all over there You know they tell me in Louisiana, there's hoodoos all over there You know they'll do anything for the money, man, in the world, I declare.A professional consultant who practices hoodoo on behalf of clients may be referred to as a "hoodoo doctor" or "hoodoo man" if male and a "hoodoo woman" or "hoodoo lady" if female. Taylor's diary for 1891, in which he describes and illustrates meeting with a "Hoodoo Doctor" while on a train.
Taylor, a white man, recounts that the word "hoodoo" was taught to him by the black Pullman porter on the train.
Here is how i define the word "hoodoo": Hoodoo consists of a large body of African folkloric practices and beliefs with a considerable admixture of American Indian botanical knowledge and European folklore.
Although most of its adherents are black, contrary to popular opinion, it has always been practiced by both whites and blacks in America.
Spoken: Yeah, man, play it for me [followed by guitar solo] "Now, Miss Hoodoo Lady, please give me a hoodoo hand; "Now, Miss Hoodoo Lady, please give me a hoodoo hand; "I wanna hoodoo this woman of mine, I believe she's got another man." Now, she squabbles all night long, she won't let me sleep.
Lord, I wonder what in the world this woman done done to me.
However, its earliest usage in America is connected with Irish and Scottish sailors, not African slaves.