Many songs mirror tunes of the Catholic Church, as well as associate the Catholic saints with African deities. From 1719 to 1731, the majority of African captives brought to, and enslaved in, Louisiana were Fon people from what is now Benin;[citation needed] other groups such as the Bambara, Mandinga, Wolof, Ewe, Fulbe, Fon (Dahomean),Yoruba (Nago), Chamba, Congo, Ibo, Ado, Hausa, and Sango (Hall) also brought their cultural practices, languages, and religious beliefs rooted in spirit and ancestor worship. These women of African and Creole descent emerged as powerful leaders in a society that upheld an oppressive slave regime and a dichotomy of freedom between blacks and whites. Singing is among important rituals as part of voodoo worship. When Fred was young, his grandparents told him that he was of royal African descent and had supernatural abilities. The Voodoo-influenced Spiritualist churches that survive in New Orleans are the result of syncretism of these and other spiritual practices. [28] Later, this authentication of black criminality contributed to justifications for the “mass incarceration, labor exploitation, and regulation of female sexuality”[28] that shaped the Jim Crow-era social order. In the Upper Mississippi Valley a differing pantheon of gods seemed to have existed, this is inferred by evidence of worship to a god named "Samunga" which has never been present in Louisiana Voodoo.[11]. As a young man, Staten made many trips to voodoo communities in Haiti and the United States to learn more of the art. Shops selling charms, gris-gris, candles, and powders cater to both tourists and practitioners. Their knowledge of herbs, poisons, and the ritual creation of charms and amulets, intended to protect oneself or harm others, became key elements of Louisiana Voodoo. Contrary to popular belief, Hoodoo dolls are usually used to bless and have no power to curse. In Hoodoo herbalism, the “cure-all” was very popular among followers. Through Doctor John's work in the medicinal aspects of Voodoo, he gained a reputation for being an excellent healer. Contrary to popular belief, Hoodoo dolls are usually used to bless and have no power to curse. The enslaved community quickly outnumbered white European colonists. The Hoodoo doll is a form of gris-gris and an example of sympathetic magic. Louisiana Voodoo is a conglomeration of beliefs that has evolved over time and continues to adapt to its surroundings. However, it has been reported that Doctor John confessed to friends that his magic was a sham. [15], Across the street from the cemetery where Laveau is buried, offerings of pound cake are left to the statue of Saint Expedite; these offerings are believed to expedite the favors asked of the Voodoo queen. [28], For example, in the 1800s, Louisiana newspapers typically portrayed Voodoo practices in a negative way, with articles such as “Voodous on the Rampage”. Her magical ability is that of a human Voodoo-doll; she can inflict pain on others by mutilating herself. The show also portrays this violence as a large part of Voodoo as committed without empathy; Coven shows Queenie, the black Voodoo-witch, hurting people with her Voodoo magic without remorse: “Queenie uses her voodoo doll-like powers to violently attack a male customer who continuously insulted her at the fried chicken restaurant where she worked until she sticks her hand into the deep frying oil to burn the man. Examples include: Five Finger Grass, Dragon Blood Sticks, Dixie Love Perfume and Brimstone. Dixie Love Perfume was noted for a fragrance to encourage romance. Marie Laveau is remembered for her skill and compassion for the less fortunate. [24], While media content exists that portrays Voodoo practices with accuracy, many popular novels (like Voodoo Season (2006) and Voodoo Dreams (1995) by Jowell Parker Rhodes), and horror movies (such as White Zombie (1932), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), The Serpent and the Rainbow (1987), Voodoo Dawn (1998) or Hoodoo for Voodoo (2006)), are misrepresentations of actual Voodoo traditions. In the Upper Mississippi Valley a differing pantheon of gods seemed to have existed, this is inferred by evidence of worship to a god named “Samunga” which has never been present in Louisiana Voodoo. Among the fifteen “voodoo queens” in neighborhoods scattered around 19th-century New Orleans, Marie Laveau was known as “the Voodoo Queen”, the most eminent and powerful of them all. However, in southern Louisiana, families, cultures, and languages were kept more intact than in the north.

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