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Voodoo may refer to:



See also: Afro-American religion, for a list of related religions, which are sometimes called or mistaken for Vodou/Voodoo.







See also

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

VOODOO or Vaudoux (Creole Fr. vaudoux, a negro sorcerer, probably originally a dialectic form of Fr. Vaudois, a Waldensian), the name given to certain magical practices, superstitions and secret rites prevalent among the negroes of the West Indies, and more particularly in the Republic of Haiti.

<< Vonones

Daniel Wolsey Voorhees >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also voodoo


German Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia de


Voodoo m.

  1. voodoo


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection


An Introduction to Voodooism

Vodun, or alternatively Voodoo is a religion practiced significantly in the West Indies and some in South America and Africa.


A Theist-Animist Religion.


Voodoo's central theme is the belief that injury, pain, or even death can be inflicted upon a person by using the likeness of them usually put on a figure (Voodoo Doll). It also can involve frenzy dancing and such things as hallucinations induced by using herbal drugs, similar to drugs like LSD and Ecstasy.


Followers of Voodooism are sometimes ridiculed for their beliefs that involve demons and things of that nature. Followers of Voodooism are usually associated with cannibalism, although in actuality this part of the religion makes up only a very small percentage of the followers. Voodooism is often portrayed merely as a name for evil black magic, which is only a misconception about this religion, which is actually more grounded than most people have come to believe.


Voodooism's followers rarely claim that they are zombies; that is claimed to be risen from the dead, but some times this claim is made. There are references to resurrection of the dead in the Holy Bible of the Christian religion, more specifically Lazarus, who supposedly was resurrected by Jesus Christ. It also can be found in the Bible of the Resurrection of the dead during the Last Days; see the Book of Revelation for reference. There is no evidence accepted by reputable scientists that the dead can be resurrected.


Following of Voodooism is chiefly found in the West Indies, particularly in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Smaller minorities exist in Cuba and around the world. Voodooism is among the smallest of the world religions. It is noted that more than 30 million people follow Voodooism worldwide.

Voodooist Nations

  1. Benin; state religion, and it accounts for the majority of the populous, at 7 million.
  2. Ghana
  3. Togo
  4. Haiti; probably accounts for the most Voodoo practitioners in that region.
  5. Dominican Republic
  6. Puerto Rico
  7. Cuba
  8. Brazil

Chief Deities

Bondye; Creator god; Haiti and Africa

Simple English

, Haiti.]]

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

The word Voodoo, which has many different names and spellings (like Vodun, Vodou, Voudou, Vudu, Vodoun) is the name of a West African religion. Voodoo is animist and spiritist, and a lot of Voodoo beliefs have to do with ancestor spirits. Some of it is based on Catholic beliefs, but most of Voodoo is from the Fon, Ewe, and Yoruba peoples. The word vodún is the Fon-Ewe word for spirit.

In Voodoo many gods and spirits are prayed to or called on. Both spirits of nature and of dead people are important. The spirits of family member who have died are especially important. Voodoo often has rituals with music and dancing. Drums are used to make most of this music. In Voodoo people often believe that a spirit is in their body and controlling the body. Having a spirit come into is wanted, and important. This spirit can speak for the gods or dead people you love, and can also help to heal or do magic.


African Vodu: the beginning of Voodoo

Voodoo came to places like Haiti and the United States as Vodu. Some people think Voodoo and Vodu are the same religion. Some people think they are not the same religion because Voodoo has changed some after it was taken from Africa. For example, African Vodu often has animal sacrifice (the animal is killed for the spirits), but this is not common in Haiti and never done in the United States. Another example is that an African sea god became a Haitian sea Goddess. Voodoo in Haiti and America has also added some Catholic ideas that were not known in African Vodu.

Voodou in Haiti

Voodoo is an important religion in Haiti. When Haiti beat the French in a war and became its own country, the people of Haiti believed that Voodoo had helped them win. Also, in Haiti there are both good priests and "dark" sorcerers (called bokor). The bokor acts like a kind of religious policeman, and may curse bad people. It is the bokor who are said to make zombies; becoming a zombie is the worst curse because it means a person looses their soul.

Voodoo in the United States

Voodoo originally entered the United States via immigrants from Africa and Haiti such as Marie LaVeau, "the Voodoo queen of New Orleans." Marie was a pacifist and known for healing people. Though unprecedented, the local Catholic priest let Marie practice Voodoo in the Catholic church, and as a result, she became famous, leading (along with others) many in Louisiana to believe in Voodoo.

In most parts of the U.S., Voodoo is primarily practiced by African descendants, who follow the teachings as part of a family heritage. Louisiana, however, which is the U.S. state with the most Voodoo believers, the belief system has attracted a number of caucasian followers as well.

Voodoo in Popular Culture

People fear the unknown, and as most people do not know much about Voodoo, it is used to frighten and its practices (Hoodoo) are portrayed as evil. Voodoo is shown in many horror/suspense movies and has come into American pop culture through music, movies, art, and many other mediums.


Like many other religions and practices, people learn about Voodoo and Hoodoo through movies and TV shows, where it has gained the popularity it has today as a form of entertainment. Hoodoo was showcased in the 2005 horror-suspense movie, The Skeleton Key, starring Kate Hudson (correctly emphasizing that it was Hoodoo that was being used), and in the upcoming 2009 Disney movie The Princess and the Frog.
Zombies are a large part of popular horror culture, and they originated in Voodoo folklore from the original word, “nbzambi”, which refers to the primary sprit and/or to one’s soul. There are four types of zombies in Voodoo: the Great Spirit, the Spiritual Soul, the Herbal Zombie and the Bargained Zombie;each type is created differently. Zombies of Voodoo folklore do not come to be from a zombie bite, it is a large misconception.[1]

Zombies are portrayed as monsters and are in plays and many movies, including the 2009 release of Zombieland, and the 2004 movie Shaun of the Dead, both horror-comedies.


Just as there is Christian music, there was music that came from Voodoo rituals, which influenced jazz, and many of the original jazz players are rumored to have had a connection to Voodoo in some way, including Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong. Storyville, a district in New Orleans, was a place where, at night, Jazz was played and Hoodoo was sold. There, jazz thrived and pulsed with the voices and instruments of Jelly Roll, Sweet Emma Barrett, and many others.[2] There are many songs and albums that reference Voodoo and/or Hoodoo, either in the title ("Hoodoo" by Muse ) or in the actual song, such as in David Bowie's song "Magic Dance", with the lyric, "You remind me of the babe./ What babe?/ The babe with the power. /What power?/ The power of the hoodoo. /Hoodoo? /You do. /Do what? /Remind me of the babe!". Another example is Rob Zombie who started the band White Zombie.


There are many books on the subject of Voodoo and Hoodoo, such as How-To's and folk tales. One of the most famous books incorporating these themes is The Serpent And The Rainbow, by Wade Davis, which is also a movie, though the author was very displeased with the result. A list of books can be found here.

Voodoo For Fun

Many people enjoy partaking in Voodoo and Hoodoo practices, such as buying love potions, and casting or having spells casted for them that promise luck, money, health or success. While some only do it for the fun of it, many take it seriously, as it is a religion. Hoodoo can be used for harm, but that is adverse to how it is supposed to be used, as Voodoo is not an evil religion by any means.[3]


  1. Zombies.
  2. Voodoo & Jazz
  3. [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Hoodoo"], The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore, 2, Anand Prahlad 

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