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Apr 01
2009

What’s the difference between Voodoo and Hoodoo?

Posted by gmg in FAQs

When the horse gets in front of the cart, Voodoo becomes Hoodoo. Originally, Voodoo entered our vocabulary via the Franco-African culture of south Louisiana. And, like most French words, Americans are inclined to mispronounce them. When Anglo-African Americans recognized Voodoo as the same practice they knew as conjure or root work, they synchronized the concept, and the word, as Hoodoo.

Today, a newer set of definitions is used. Voodoo, (originally called Vodoun in Africa), is used to define the spiritual practice in which the magic that is effected through the gris-gris objects and invocations, is solely the work of spirits.  Hoodoo, meanwhile, has come to be the practice of superstition in which the gris-gris magic is invested in the object (a doll, a potion, a candle etc.) or invocation alone, without the force or even the knowledge of the spirits. Therefore, Voodoo is the spiritual practice that uses gris-gris, while Hoodoo is a superstition in the gris-gris alone.    

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