Hoodoo - also known as Conjure or Rootwork - is a folk magic system in the United States that developed
within African-American communities. Though it was first recorded in the 19th century, the roots of it
go back to belief systems in various parts of Africa.
Note: 'Drums and Shadows' and the books written by Harry Middleton Hyatt attempted to capture the accents and dialects
of those interviewed. There were no standardized ways of doing that during the 1930s and 1940s, so the
researchers used a phonetic means of doing so. Though the results sound racist to people today,
the researchers and interviewers were not making fun of their informants.
Drums and Shadows (1940)
is a collection of folklore from coastal Georgia that was commissioned by the
Works Projects Administration, under the supervision of Mary Granger.
Harry Middleton Hyatt (1896-1978), an Anglican minister and amateur folklorist,
interviewed hoodoo practitioners and customers in the 1930s. His extensive five-volume set
"Hoodoo - Conjuration - Witchcraft - Rootwork" is the most extensive work of its kind and
is the largest source of information on hoodoo to date. His earlier book "Folklore From Adams County Illinois"
was focused on the variety of magic beliefs in one county in Illinois and contains additional information
on hoodoo and other traditions.
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was an African-American anthropologist and author
who wrote about hoodoo, voodoo, and other subjects. Her hoodoo research was highlighted in the article
Hoodoo in America (1931)in The Journal of American Folk-Lore and her book Mules and Men(1935).
Pennsylvania Dutch Powwowing/Braucherei/Hexerei
Powwow/Powwowing is a system of folk magic developed by the German-speaking Pennsylvania Dutch communities in the
northern United States. It is closely related to some European magic traditions and makes use of a handful of grimoires.
The Bible itself is treated as a type
of grimoire, too. Pow-Wows or Long Lost Friend by John George Hohman
is an important book in Braucherei and is believed to be a protective amulet when carried. It was frequently mentioned in
Manly Wade Wellman's "Silver John" stories.
Grimoires used by the Pennsylvania Dutch