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Voodoo Throughout history people have feared that which they do not understand. This is even more evident with the topic of witchcraft. With such events, as the Salem witch trials and the inquisition-like attacks on religions, not socially accepted by the majority, demonstrates what happens when intolerance and fear of beliefs not like any other take hold in a culture. Even in the 20th century, a religion exists in the southern United States that intimidates people through prayer, ceremonies, gris-gris, and superstition. This religion is known by names such as Voudun, Hoodoo, and most popular Voodoo The word Voodoo is an intimidating word to many because of the images it brings to the mind of black magic, evil, and death that are associated with it. Voodoo is a religion that is very unique and interesting to examine. The roots of Voodoo are traced back to West Africa, continues on to Haiti and other islands via the slaves and then brought to New Orleans also through slavery. There is a difference in the Voodoo of each of these locations due to peoples' influence on it and according to its need at each location. In West Africa, the people took the view that all things lived and died but when something did die its spirit would linger close to the loved ones to help them in this world. They believed in a spirit world that was ruled by a supreme God just as Catholicism believes in God and Heaven. The Voodoo culture took the view that the supreme God was busy doing the most important work and this resulted in the followers asking sub-deities (loas) to carry their message to God for them. Loas, similar to saints or angels, had unique powers but they also were associated with specific physical traits, favorite ... ... middle of paper ... ... others not even within the rat it is no different from the major religions of the world. By looking more in depth at Voodoo, the ability to determine whether to use the religion for good or evil is a test in itself. Unless one has faith in the beliefs of a given religion, will be seen as a negative belief of evil by those who do not understand. As humans, a bias naturally exists for our own personal beliefs and traditions. Explore and understand what is against your own belief and what could be found may be a surprise. Bibliography and Footnotes: 4. Bodin, Ron, Voodoo: Past and Present.( Lafayette: University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1990.) pp.39 3. Haskins, Jim, Voodoo and Hoodoo. (Lanham: Scarborough House, 1990.) pp.128 and 191 1 and 2. Hurbon, Laennec, Voodoo: Search for the Spirit. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1995.) pp. 38-39

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