Hoodoo, Voodoo, and Conjure
A Handbook
by Jeffrey E. Anderson
October 2008, 200pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34221-9
$61, £46, 51€, A88
eBook Available: 978-0-313-34222-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Discusses types of hoodoo, voodoo, and conjure and provides a wide range of examples and texts.

Hoodoo, voodoo, and conjure are part of a mysterious world of African American spirituality that has long captured the popular imagination. These magical beliefs and practices have figured in literary works by such authors as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Ishmael Reed, and they have been central to numerous films, such as The Skeleton Key. Written for students and general readers, this book is a convenient introduction to hoodoo, voodoo, and conjure.

The volume begins by defining and classifying elements of these spiritual traditions. It then provides a wide range of examples and texts, which illustrate the richness of these beliefs and practices. It also examines the scholarly response to hoodoo, voodoo, and conjure, and it explores the presence of hoodoo, voodoo, and conjure in popular culture. The volume closes with a glossary and bibliography. Students in social studies classes will use this book to learn more about African American magical beliefs, while literature students will enjoy its exploration of primary sources and literary works.


"The author of this well-put-together book knows that the occult practices imported from Africa to the New World, especially the Caribbean and, although widespread in its influence, has not been well documented in the academic world. Therefore, Professor Anderson has collated what does exist, written informative essays to cover broad general areas, explained what is and is not clear or available in the current literature, and given extensive bibliographies for researchers and interested students to follow up on and do larger studies in the future."—ARBAonline, May 1, 2009

"For the serious scholar, the folklore handbook, Hoodoo, Voodoo, and Conjure, provides material for future research into African American culture. In survey courses on African American culture, this book would be one that would go a long way in any analysis of the psychological significance of spirituality, past, present, and future, and its place within the various arms of the Diaspora."—Journal of Folklore Research, March 9, 2009

". . .the strength of this book lies in the wealth of historical specifics that are provided. . . this book is valuable because it is important that anyone in the field of religion have some knowledge of these old and influential practices."—Catholic Library World, June 1, 2009

"This is a good reference book for learning about the practice of these three nontraditional healing, helping, and harming techniques. . . . The work provides an in-depth look at the practices. It can serve as somewhat of a how-to guide for anyone interested in becoming involved with them. . . . The book serves as a teaching tool that explains which herbs or portions to use for various needs. . . . The volume is recommended for religious or medical collections focusing on nontraditional spiritual practices. Its accessible style makes it a good source for interested general adult readers as well."—MultiCultural Review, July 28, 2009

"… a wonderful resource guide and historical survey of 'Voodooism' and African American alternative spirituality. … Anderson does an outstanding job of informing his readers about Voodooism … very informative and an excellent resource for amateurs and experts seeking an understanding of Voodooism and African American supernaturalisms."—Journal of African American History, February 15, 2011
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