Black Spirituality Religion : Hoodoo, Conjuration, Witchcraft, Rootwork: The Deliberate Mislabeling & Malignment

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Tribal_House, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Tribal_House

    Tribal_House Well-Known Member MEMBER

    May 31, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Do not be dismayed nor frightened by the offensive titles. The history of "demonizing" and de-legitimizing African spiritual practices has been a long, calculating and deliberate process. The divinities and Ancestors of Africa were at war with the evils of slavery, discrimination and oppression. They "worked" for the enslaved Africans, and the slave owners knew it and greatly feared them.

    Africans enslaved to build the economic foundation of America were practitioners of powerful religious systems wholly foreign and threatening to the West, and all efforts were made to extinguish them. In the process of disconnecting the Africans from their religious-spiritual power, and culture during and after slavery, all African Traditional Religious practices, were maligned as "evil, idolatrous, superstitious, barbaric, withcraft etc."

    However, contained in these little known volumes, spoken in "ebonics" are the stories of priests, priestesses, healers, prophets, "rootwomen/men," diviners, herbalists, seers, visionaries, etc., by enslaved Africans and their descendants whose knowledge, skills & abilities came directly to America from West Africa.

    The Hyatt Collection is an unparalleled resource of 19th and 20th century African-American spiritual-folklore and culture. Housed at housed at the Mami Wata Healing Society, and at the UCLA Center for the Comparative Study of Folklore and Mythology (part of the UCLA Folklore Archives Special Projects), there are over 5,000 typed pages of transcribed research interviews and a number of rare audio field recordings from the 1930s compiled by An Episcopal Priest, Henry Hyatt, who was commissioned to collect and preserve these first hand accounts of priceless knowledge on what later became known as HOODOO. Hyatt does point out that he could make no distinction between these Afro-Traditions, thus the pejorative title (of "Hoodoo, Conjuration, Rootwork & Witchcraft) which was en vogue in the unrelenting campaign to discredit any spiritual traditions indigenous to Africa.

    In truth, the foundation of "Hoodoo" has both its powerful ritual and fundemental philosophical premises extracted directly from the sacred African Religious [Vodoun, Ifa, Orisha, Palo Akan, etc.,] beliefs and cosmogony. Family secrets which are [even today] only passed down orally from teacher to student, as it still exist in special families in West Africa; and known in its ancient form as "Bo/Gbo" or "Bochio."

    Scarce and difficult to obtain, this five volume collection is a must read and have for all African-American genealogical libraries, and spiritual practitioners of Afro-diaspora traditions.

    Faced with both the twin evils of racism, and religious persecution [and forbidden by-law to read or write], these volumes acts as a living testament to their hard fought legacy to leave some remnant to their heirs of the indestructibility of the African Spirits that continues to be reborn in each generation. It overshadows the often assumed myth that Africans enslaved in the United States possessed no esoteric or ritual knowledge as those enslaved in Cuba, Brazil and the Caribbean Islands.

    As the practice of HOODOO becomes more prevalent among "new agers," who attempt to culturally appropriate, economically exploit and usurp credit for the spiritual knowledge of Africa, it is important to reclaim this powerful ancestral heritage of the diaspora in its original integrity.