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 Hoodoo

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PostSubject: Hoodoo   Thu 08 Jul 2010, 8:34 pm

Hoodoo, also known as conjure, is a form of predominantly African-American traditional folk magic that developed from the syncretism of a number of separate cultures and magical traditions. It incorporates practices from African and Native American traditions, as well as some European magical practices and grimoires. While folk practices like hoodoo are trans-cultural phenomena, what is particularly innovative in this tradition is the "remarkably efficacious use of biblical figures" in its practices and in the lives of its practitioners.

The word hoodoo first was documented in American English in 1875 and was listed as a noun or a transitive verb. In African American Vernacular English (AAVE), it is often used to describe a magic spell or potion, but it may also be used as an adjective for a practitioner. Regional synonyms for hoodoo include conjuration, conjure, witchcraft, or rootwork.

These are not all synonyms, however. For example, witchcraft is problematic as a synonym in that it can imply a moral judgment regarding the practice (i.e. it is evil), or it can be confused with the contemporary Wicca religion. Moreover, a hoodoo practitioner is not to be understood as a rootworker if he or she does not use roots and herbs in their magical practices. Thus, rootwork can be understood as a subcategory or a "type" of hoodoo practice.
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