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In earlier times a "hoodoo ship" was a term applied to a "ghost ship," that is, one found drifting with no crew.From there it became a more general term meaning a cursed or bad-luck ship.Other regionally popular names for hoodoo in the black community include "conjuration," "conjure," "witchcraft," "rootwork," "candle burning," and "tricking." The first three are simply English words; the fourth is a recognition of the pre-eminence that dried roots play in the making of charms and the casting of spells, and the fifth and sixth are special meanings for common English words.Hoodoo is used as a noun to name both the system of magic ("He used hoodoo on her") and its practitioners ("Doctor Buzzard was a great hoodoo in his day").Here is how i define the word "hoodoo": Hoodoo consists of a large body of African folkloric practices and beliefs with a considerable admixture of American Indian botanical knowledge and European folklore.Although most of its adherents are black, contrary to popular opinion, it has always been practiced by both whites and blacks in America.In some accounts the problems onboard these vessels were attributed to an evil spirit or presence.Those who attribute the word hoodoo to Irish or Scottish seamen say that is is a phonetic transliteration of the Gaelic words Uath Dubh (pronounced hooh dooh), which means dark phantom, evil entity, or spiky ghost.
For instance, in Dorothy Scarborough's book "On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs," (Harvard University Press, 1925), a field-collected version of the old dance-song "Cotton-Eyed Joe" tells of a man who "hoodooed" a woman.This lengthy article has been subdivided into several sections: HOODOO, CONJURE, ROOTWORK: Definition of Terms: How I Define Hoodoo WHAT HOODOO IS: An African-American Folk-Magic Tradition WHAT HOODOO IS NOT: Voodoo, Santeria, Palo, Brujeria, etc.ADMIXTURES: European, Spiritist, and Kabbalist Influences on Hoodoo ADMIXTURES: Asian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist Influences on Hoodoo RESPECT: What It Is Hoodoo, Conjure, Rootwork, and similar terms refer to the practice of African American folk magic."Now, Miss Hoodoo Lady, please give me a hoodoo hand; "Now, Miss Hoodoo Lady, please give me a hoodoo hand; "I wanna hoodoo this woman of mine, I believe she's got another man." Unlike the word "conjure," the origin of the word "hoodoo" is not known with certainty.It has for the most part been assumed to be African, and some have claimed that it derives from a word in the Hausa language for bad luck.