Voodoo Origins in America

March 17th, 2009

Voodoo came to the Americas approximately 200 years ago. The raids of the African Slave Coast began in about 1724, and thousands of these snake worshippers were sold into the West Indies. The word that they carried with them was the name of their god. The word was “Vodu”, and was then interpreted into different terms such as: Voodoo, Voudou, Vaudau, Voudoux, and Vaudaux. The term not just represented their god, but its rites and practices, and the people who followed it. The term Voodoo is now the most commonly used one in the United States.

After the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the ban against Negroes from the West Indies was lifted. A few years later when revolution began to sweep the islands, the West Indian Negroes started to come to New Orleans in large numbers. This would end up marking the beginning of organized Voodoo in Louisiana. Up until that point, Voodoo in the West Indies remained much stronger than it did in Louisiana. The masters found New Orleans to be a good place to settle. They were able to become organized and gain many followers who came from the Christianity background that their owners had given them.

It is believed that the first organized gathering place of the Voodoos in New Orleans took place in an abandoned brickyard on Dumaine Street. Here, they met late at night for dancies and orgies. The police would drive them from here, and they moved on to the shores of Lake Pontchartrain.

(Source: Tallant, Robert. Voodoo in New Orleans. 1994)

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