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The verb "to hoodoo" appears in collections of early pre-blues folk-songs.For instance, in Dorothy Scarborough's book "On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs," (Harvard University Press, 1925), a field-collected version of the old dance-song "Cotton-Eyed Joe" tells of a man who "hoodooed" a woman.Finally, in other parts of the South, the word "Voodoo" is not encountered at all except in the writings of uninformed white people, and the terms "hoodoo," "rootwork," "conjure" and "witchcraft" are variously applied to the system of African-American folk-magic.A long discussion of the regional distribution of these terms can be found in Harry Middleton Hyatt's "Hoodoo - Conjuration - Witchcraft - Rootwork," a 5-volume, 4,766-page collection of material (consisting of 13,458 separate magic spells and folkloric beliefs) gathered by Hyatt from 1,600 informants in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia between 19.T In early 20th century agricultural supplies, "hoodoo powder" was a compound applied to tree stumps to cause them to decay more 'rapidly -- again a reference to ghosts -- in this case the ghosts of dead trees. In contemporary Britain, hoodoo usually refers to a sports-jinx ("Tottenham Hotspurs banish Manchester United hoodoo").In the African American community, the word hoodoo has, for the past 100 years at least, referred to a whole set of magical practices, of which curses and bad luck are only a small part.In earlier times a "hoodoo ship" was a term applied to a "ghost ship," that is, one found drifting with no crew.

You know they tell me in Louisiana, there's hoodoos all over there You know they tell me in Louisiana, there's hoodoos all over there You know they'll do anything for the money, man, in the world, I declare.It is Eoghan's theory that the word hoodoo may derive from the special sense in which this Afro-Caribbean Spanish term Judio is used in Palo -- and would thus refer to African slaves who refused to renounce African customs and practices.Some writers have said that the word "hoodoo" is a corruption of the word "Voodoo," but that seems highly unlikely.In the 1930s, some practitioners used the noun "hoodooism" (analogous with "occultism") to describe their work, but that term has dropped out of common parlance.Hoodoo is also an adjective ("he layed a hoodoo trick for her") and a verb ("she hoodooed that man until he couldn't love no one but her").

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