Understanding The Basic Principles of Voodoo

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Server of the spirit, or Voudouist is the name given to a practicer of Voodoo. While the former may be interpreted with an air of darkness, the opposite is most often true. Mainstream media has given a false identity to Voodoo and has instilled fear in the general public. The intent of Voodoo is not one of evil or dark magic, rather one of community and strength. “As a very dark remnant is left from the history of slavery and discrimination in the West, African religions are still some of the most maligned and misunderstood religions in the world.” (Mama Zogbé) Voodoo, Vodoun, or Vodun, is far more complicated and spiritual than the misunderstandings surrounding it would lead one to believe; through its practices, beliefs, and priests/priestesses, it has served many Africans through conflicted times, and has remained strong even after thousands of years of opposition and practice. To understand the basic principles of Voodoo, it seems necessary to understand the very word itself. The original spelling was “Vodun,” which is Louisiana’s derivative of the French word for spirit. The word has many other spellings, all of which were created to capture the pronunciation of the Haitians. However, many of the various spellings can also be linked to American scholars who first studied the religion. It would appear that their goal was one of two things: to spell the word in such a way that it was obvious that it was something unusual, or to make the concept feel more digestible. It seems to be in the same fashion of Harry Potter, for example, when everyone is too afraid to say Voldemort aloud, so they instead refer to him as “he-who-must-not-be-named.” The same idea presents itself in a similar manner in the context of the scholars discuss... ... middle of paper ... ..." The Voodoo Society. Voodoo Society, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. Haas, Saumya Arya. "What Is Voodoo? Understanding a Misunderstood Religion." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 25 Feb. 2011. Web. 04 Sept. 2013. Hood, Bruce, PhD. "The Natural Origins of Voodoo." The Self Illusion. Sussex Directories Inc., 6 July 213. Web. 4 Sept. 2013. Ogunsuyi, Austin, Dr, and Mama Zogbe. "Voodoo: Dispelling the Myths (Pt. 2)." Voodoo: Dispelling the Myths (Pt. 2). N.p., May 2001. Web. 04 Sept. 2013. Powell, Everton. "Origins of Voodoo." The Afrocentric Experience. N.p., 30 July 2008. Web. 4 Sept. 2013. Tilme, Merloze. "The Misconceptions Of Voodoo." MERLOZE MEDIA. Merlosze Media, n.d. Web. 04 Sept. 2013. Zogbé, Mama. "Voodoo: An African Diaspora Tradition." Interview by Austin Ogunsuyi, Dr. Mami Wata West African Diaspora Vodoun. Mama Zogbé, May 2001. Web. Sept. 2013.

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