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It is the story of a young black woman whose true love does her bad, so in his wake she gives free reign to her passions with a long string of casual lovers by whom she bears nine illegitimate children. She rears them on her own with strength, courage and a sort of homely dignity, even as she is ostracized by her church-dominated community. The book is set in post-emancipation coastal Carolina, but with a twist: there is not a single white character in the book.

Due to this, and to the sensual nature of its content, it was labeled obscene and banned from at least one public library in South Carolina. A detractor promptly resigned from the jury in outrage. But none of this is the real joy of the book. Read it for the colorful language and laugh-out-loud humor that bring to life this troubling, yet warmly loved slice of Lowcountry folklife.

He is a local legend, along with his arch-nemesis and in a way admired friend the infamous Sea Island conjure man Dr. McTeer became head lawman of Beaufort County in at the age of 23, replacing his deceased father, and went on to serve in the position for 37 years, garnering respect and affection from both the black and white communities of that segregated time. In his books McTeer insists this was a coincidence, but nevertheless it sealed the fame of his powers. Sensational as all this may sound, McTeer was an extremely intelligent, rational, shrewd and insightful person who had a deep understanding and sensitivity toward the people of his community.

He was truly an icon of a unique era that is now past you could never get away with this stuff now!

Hoodoo (folk magic)

Sounds great! They chronicle secret histories and little-known stories of the Lowcountry—as well as the real-life South beyond it—told in the words of everyday people who you might actually know. An indie writer with no agenda and the willingness to get down and dirty for the story is just the person to report on these complexities—here is Huckleberry Finn reborn as a girl with a pickup truck and a notebook, on an epic New South odyssey.


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This roly-poly mammal is so unique in appearance that seeing a paddle tail flip up out of the water, or that signature nose breaking the surface of the water as it grabs a snoot full of air,… Read More…. One practitioner explained it as follows:. God has something to do with everything that you do whether it's good or bad, he's got something to do with it You'll get what's coming to you. Not only is Yahweh's providence a factor in hoodoo practice, but hoodoo thought understands the deity as the archetypal hoodoo doctor.

On this matter Zora Neale Hurston stated, "The way we tell it, hoodoo started way back there before everything. Six days of magic spells and mighty words and the world with its elements above and below was made. By blending the ideas laid out by the Christian Bible, the faith is made more acceptable. This combines the teachings of Christianity that Africans brought to America were given and the traditional beliefs they brought with them.

A recent work on hoodoo lays out a model of hoodoo origins and development. Those traits included naturopathic medicine, ancestor reverence, counter clockwise sacred circle dancing, blood sacrifice, divination, supernatural source of malady, water immersion and spirit possession. These traits allowed Culturally diverse Africans to find common culturo-spiritual ground. According to the author, hoodoo developed under the influence of that complex, the African divinities moved back into their natural forces, unlike in the Caribbean and Latin America where the divinities moved into Catholic saints.

This work also discusses the misunderstood "High John the Conqueror root " and myth as well as the incorrectly-discussed "nature sack". Hoodoo practitioners often understand the biblical figure Moses in similar terms.

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Hurston developed this idea in her novel Moses, Man of the Mountain , in which she calls Moses, "the finest hoodoo man in the world. Moses conjures, or performs magic "miracles" such as turning his staff into a snake. However, his greatest feat of conjure was using his powers to help free the Hebrews from slavery. This emphasis on Moses-as-conjurer led to the introduction of the pseudonymous work the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses into the corpus of hoodoo reference literature.

In hoodoo, "All hold that the Bible is the great conjure book in the world. This is particularly evident given the importance of the book Secrets of the Psalms in hoodoo culture. The Bible, however, is not just a source of spiritual works but is itself a conjuring talisman. It can be taken "to the crossroads", carried for protection, or even left open at specific pages while facing specific directions.

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This informant provides an example of both uses:. Whenevah ah'm afraid of someone doin' me harm ah read the 37 Psalms an' co'se ah leaves the Bible open with the head of it turned to the east as many as three days. It is believed one's soul returns to God after death, however their spirit may still remain on Earth. Spirits can interact with the world by providing good fortune or bringing bad deeds.

A spirit that torments the living is known as a Boo Hag.

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In a process known as "seeking" a hoodoo practitioner will ask for salvation of your soul in order for a Gullah church to accept them. A spiritual leader will assist in the process and after believing the follower is ready they will announce it to the church. A ceremony will commence with much singing, and the practice of a ring shout. The purpose of hoodoo was to allow people access to supernatural forces to improve their lives.

Hoodoo is purported to help people attain power or success "luck" in many areas of life including money, love, health, and employment. As in many other spiritual and medical folk practices, extensive use is made of herbs , minerals , parts of animals' bodies, an individual's possessions and bodily fluids, especially menstrual blood , urine , saliva , and semen. Contact with ancestors or other spirits of the dead is an important practice within the conjure tradition, and the recitation of psalms from the Bible is also considered spiritually influential in hoodoo.

Due to hoodoo's great emphasis on an individual's spiritual power to effect desired change in the course of events, hoodoo's principles are believed to be accessible for use by any individual of faith. Homemade powders, mojo hands, oils, and talismans form the basis of much rural hoodoo, but there are also some successful commercial companies selling various hoodoo products to urban and town practitioners. These are generally called spiritual supplies, and they include herbs, roots, minerals, candles, incense, oils, floor washes, sachet powders, bath crystals, icons, aerosols, and colognes.

Many patent medicines, cosmetics, and household cleaning supplies for mainstream consumers have been aimed also at hoodoo practitioners.

Some products have dual usage as conventional and spiritual supplies, examples of which include the Four Thieves Vinegar , [23] Florida Water , [24] and Red Devil Lye. Hoodoo is linked to a popular tradition of bottle trees in the United States. According to gardener and glass bottle researcher Felder Rushing, the use of bottle trees came to the Old South from Africa with the slave trade. Bottle trees were an African tradition, passed down from early Arabian traders.

They believed that the bottles trapped the evil spirits until the rising morning sun could destroy them.

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The use of blue bottles is linked to the " haint blue " spirit specifically. Glass bottle trees have become a popular garden decoration throughout the South and Southwest. Hoodoo shows evident links to the practices and beliefs of Fon and Ewe Vodun spiritual folkways. In the Americas, the worship of the Vodoun loa is syncretized with Roman Catholic saints.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the disco group, see Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band. Haitian Vodou Hoodoo. Louisiana Voodoo. Tambor de Mina. Creators Mawu Nana Buluku. Anaisa Pye Ayida-Weddo. Ayizan Azaka-Tonnerre.