Slavery and the African Background in the Making of Hoodoo
This chapter explores the movement and recoalescing of eight essential elements into the African Religion Complex (ARC), thus enabling the Hoodoo religion to emerge briefly: counterclockwise sacred circle dancing; spirit possession; the principle of sacrifice; ritual water immersion; divination; ancestor reverence; belief in spiritual cause of malady; and herbal and naturopathic medicine. Something resembling Hoodoo developed among the first generation of culturally diverse Africans born in the North American colonies. Enslaved Africans manifest a range of responses to contact with both slavery and Christian worship. But whenever they worshipped, these children of Africa expressed spiritual emotion in bodily patterns inherited from African traditional religion. The primary African components from which Hoodoo would be constituted were drawn from a range of different African ethnic cultures that stretched from the area now known as Senegal down the West African coast to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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