Origin of Voodoo
usage note for Voodoo
For some time, the most common name in English for these related religious traditions was Voodoo. Today the capitalized proper noun Voodoo is used only for the religion as practiced in Louisiana. The spelling Voodoo is considered offensive in naming religious practice outside of Louisiana, as in Haiti and Cuba, where the proper names are Vodou and Vodú, respectively.
However, as the widely recognized term, Voodoo was also the one appropriated by popular culture to describe a number of practices poorly understood or purposefully exoticized by those outside of the religious community. Spiritual practices involving charmed objects loosely inspired the so-called “voodoo doll,” though no such practice of stabbing an effigy with pins is attested in the practice of Voodoo or Hoodoo. In Vodou, the “zombie” is a living but soulless individual whose free will has been taken by a powerful sorcerer or bocor, not the risen dead monster depicted in films, books, and video games. Ultimately, use of the word voodoo is complicated by widespread familiarity with the appropriated, secular, pop culture mythology of the entertainment industry—a mythology that poorly represents or directly conflicts with the authentic religious and historical core of Voodoo and related spiritual traditions such as Vodun, Vodou, and Hoodoo.
Words nearby Voodoo
How to use Voodoo in a sentence
This photograph references Voodoo and is homage to African slaves.
Voodoo is the official religion of Haiti and was brought into the West Indies nation by African slaves.
In Voodoo, the demarcation between life and death is more fluid; helping Voodoo followers create order out of disorder.
In the background, outside, is Papa Legba, who is a Loa, the word for a Voodoo deity.
There are whispers of a history of voodoo ceremonies and mysterious orbs of light appearing in photos.
He had a schooner named the Voodoo, a coast cruiser that never went further to sea than the Windwards.The Belted Seas|Arthur Colton
All voodoo and aristocratic young hero and beautiful maiden pursued by an officer of the black rebels.Ralestone Luck|Andre Norton
The old Voodoo priests were passing away and already here and there new spiritual leaders of the Negroes began to arise.The Negro in the South|Booker T. Washington
But we of the Pearl were very careful not to repeat to Cambon anything of Amos's mention of the voodoo.
Pledging her to secrecy I then told her Rufe's story of Amos, though carefully omitting any mention of the voodoo.
British Dictionary definitions for Voodoo
Derived forms of voodoovoodooist, nounvoodooistic, adjective
Word Origin for voodoo
Cultural definitions for Voodoo
A form of animism (see also animism) involving trances and other rituals. Communication with the dead is a principal feature of voodoo. It is most common in the nations of the Caribbean Sea, especially Haiti, where people sometimes mingle voodoo and Christian practices.