As promised, a deeper look into the differences between Hoodoo and Voodoo. Some believe that the terms may have a common etymology. The simplest explanation is that Voodoo is a religion and Hoodoo isn't. With the religious persecution and suppression of the Voodoo religion in America, hoodoo is what remains.
Hoodoo is the "folk magic" of the common people in West Africa that has been passed from one generation to the next. Most of what could be said as "legitimate" Voodoo in books, Hollywood movies and popular culture, is actually the magicobotanical practice of Hoodoo. As I said yesterday, Thursday's episode of Supernatural dealt with Hoodoo as well as the movie The Skeleton Key. In the U.S. Hoodoo is not a religion. It is spiritual and magical in nature, but it does not have an established theology, clergy, laity, or order of liturgical services. Hoodoo shows obvious links to the practices and beliefs of all African folk magic-religious culture. The Hoodoo practiced in the U.S. by the enslaved Africans was brought from West and Central Africa.
Voodoo is an established religion with its ancient roots in Egypt, East Africa, ancient Ionia and Afro-Rome. Now, its current roots are in the West African region now known as Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso. It is practiced all throughout West Africa; particularly, among members of the Fon, Ewe and other West African groups. In Haiti and the Caribbean it is practiced in a form that has been greatly modified by contact with the Catholic church.
From so called "love potions," to taking vengeance upon an enemy, Hoodoo is largely what has survived the religious persecution of the Africans enslaved in the New World. Additionally, due to the laws passed preventing the African from practicing any African based tradition, "Hoodoo" was forced to undergo the same superficial transformation as did the Voodoo religion in which they hid their gods behind Catholic Saints. Hoodoo blended with acceptable Native American & European folklore and practice, but the actual methods and power behind it remained completely African.
New Orleans Voodoo is a conglomeration of cultural and spiritual belief systems strongly influenced by the ancient Voodoo religion of Africa, the Vodou (French spelling) religion of Haiti, the healing arts of Native American people, the folk magic of Europe, and Catholicism. Voodoo is culture, heritage, philosophy, art, dance, language, medicine, music, justice, power, storytelling & ritual.
Both are still practiced in Louisiana. There is no conflict between those who practice Voodoo and those who practice Hoodoo in Louisiana and they are perfectly complementary. Clear up the confusion?
Sources: Wikipedia, Squidoo and
Mami Wata & West African Vodoun (Voodoo) in the Diaspora
Personal Note: Snow and sleet are predicted for today. We were lucky that our power didn't go out during the rounds last weekend. If by chance I disappear for a couple of days, you know why. Don't forget to check out my renter's blog. He only has a day or so left in his stay here.