New Orleans Voodoo
The Voodoo outlined in all the other sections of this site deals with the
voodoo that originated in Haiti. Another kind of Voodoo arose in the United
States in the 1800s, as white planters and their slaves fled the rebellion in Haiti.
This is called New Orleans Voodoo, as it is found
mostly in New Orleans. The differences between Voodoo in Haiti and Voodoo in
New Orleans are significant.
Evil Magic vs. White Magic
In New Orleans Voodoo, there is evil magic or left-handed Voodoo as well as white
magic, or Juju. Evil magic includes mojo (a curse) and the much-publicized voodoo
dolls. These are obviously meant to cause others harm. Juju consists of making good
luck charms like rabbit's feet and monkey paws, as well as good hexes like romantic
Gris Gris Bags
Gris gris bags are another part of New Orleans Voodoo. They are, in essence,
recipes for magic, containing all the needed ingredients.
They are called gris gris, or gray gray, because they can be a mix of black and white magic.
For use as white magic, they are often hung on a wall or above a door. For black magic,
they may be left on a doorstep as a warning.
Marie Laveau and Other Voodoo Queens
Marie Laveau is the most famous person associated with New Orleans Voodoo. She was extremely
skilled in Voodoo, having studied with Doctor John, a famous Voodoo doctor. She told fortunes,
made gris gris bags, and put curses on people, becoming quite wealthy in the process. She was
very popular and was both feared and revered. Many rumors rose up that she could appear in
two places at once and that she could drive people out of their minds with her gris gris.
Late in her life, Marie Laveau gave up Voodoo and embraced Catholicism, leaving a plethora
of rivalling voodoo queens in her wake.